Here are some of my favorite past presidents:
While Most people only remember his infidelity, Clinton presided over the longest period of economic expansion during peacetime in American history. He declared no wars, and managed to have surpluses of 60 - 230 billion dollars as reported by the congressional budget office.
According to Wikipedia (a very reliable source--I know), "Clinton signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 in August of that year, which passed Congress without a Republican vote. It cut taxes for fifteen million low-income families, made tax cuts available to 90 percent of small businesses, and raised taxes on the wealthiest 1.2 percent of taxpayers. Additionally, through the implementation of spending restraints, it mandated the budget be balanced over a number of years."
There are certainly things that Clinton did wrong as a president. Defense Of Marriage Act, for example, which defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. But, I'm still proud of the three new national monuments that Clinton declared during his presidency. 1500-square-mile Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the 71,000 acre Agua Fria National Monument, the California Coastal National Monument, and an expansion of Pinnacles National Monument by 8,000 acres.
Then there was this guy:
What I love most about Teddy Roosevelt is that he loved the outdoors. He hiked (and you can even read a story about how he was about to summit Mt. Marcy when he received a telegram about the poor health of President McKinley). He is sometimes known as the "conservation president" because he did so much to protect landscapes throughout the US. He also established the Antiquities Act which enabled him and his successors to declare national monuments. He himself created somewhere around 18 national monuments of cultural or natural importance.
And, though she was no president:
Eleanor Roosevelt is one of my favorite first ladies. I can't think of another woman who is quoted quite as often as she is. She had a lot of great things to say. And she was even nicknamed the "First Lady of the World" because she did so much for human rights. She was "controversial" as a First Lady because she spoke out and had opinions. Unlike any First Lady before her, she held press conferences, wrote a newspaper column, and spoke at a national convention. Sometimes, she even publicly disagreed with her husband's policies. She advocated for women in the workplace, and for the civil rights of African Americans and Japanese Americans.
I can't say enough about her. Here's a video:
And here are a few quotes from Eleanor:
"We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot."
"Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."
"In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility."
I think today is a day to celebrate our great presidents. And our current president. If you don't like something a president is doing, well, then send him a letter.
I look forward to the day that we get a woman president, but until then, the First Ladies seem to be doing a lot of fantastic work! Thanks to Eleanor Roosevelt for changing the role of the First Lady.
Who is your favorite president? Leave me a comment below.