The President of the United States: The Men Behind The Title

17 Oct

2nd. article in our 6 week series on Hollywood Politics Inside & Out

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. 1  These words have been spoken by many men since George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States on April 30, 1789.  There have been many films that have been made in Hollywood about different Presidents.  One that comes to mind is JFK directed by Oliver Stone because it deals with the single bullet theory.  This film bears mentioning here because of the recent passing of Arlen Specter.  Arlen Specter was instrumental in the Warren Comission and came up with the “single bullet theory”.2

However, this article chooses to focus on documentaries of some of the Presidents.  In watching these documentaries do you feel that these men have certain characteristics that allow them to stand out to the general public and in your opinion what characteristics do you think helped the men become President and also help shaped their Presidency?3

You may view the documentaries at this link:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/collections/presidents/

Please join us for a discussion Thursday 10/18/2012@7pmE/12UTC

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36 Responses to “The President of the United States: The Men Behind The Title”

  1. Open Book October 17, 2012 at 9:17 PM #

    Paris-Great research. I love PBS President docs. U asked: “……what characteristics do you think helped the men become President and also help shaped their Presidency?”

    Lincoln-The characteristics that helped shape his Presidency were spiritual wisdom, courage, compassion, humility, a desire to learn & succeed and fight for those less fortunate. Oh! Having wit & humor really helped.

    What presidents and characteristics do u most admire?

  2. Comic Relief October 18, 2012 at 1:55 AM #

    Paris,

    “Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided” is really great. For haggard flotus’: Mary Todd Lincoln really took a beating. I’m sure I will spend a lot of time on this site.

    Yet another excellent site for anyone who a Lincoln fan is “Stealing Lincoln’s Body” is an excellent documentary. It mentions the President’s body didn’t enter its final resting place until almost 30 years after his assassination. Unfortunately few people know this.

    • ozzie20 October 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM #

      Oooow, I’m going to have to watch this!

  3. parisienne October 18, 2012 at 2:44 AM #

    Hi Everyone,

    OB, I admire Abraham Lincoln as well for all the reasons you mentioned. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    CR,

    I have seen that documentary twice (about his body) I found it interesting that when the people who helped seal his casket would open it and look at his body. Gross.

    Anyhow, I don’t know if anyone has seen the show called 10 things you didn’t about….on the H2 channel hosted by Historian David Eisenbach.

    The one thing that caught me by suprise was that Mr. President enjoyed men as well and had lovers. IIRC, his longest relationship with a man lasted 4 yrs. He also would sleep with men when his wife was out of town. You learn something new everyday.

    Here is the episode if you would like to watch it.

    • littlebells October 18, 2012 at 1:43 PM #

      Interesting. How did they find this out?

      • littlebells October 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM #

        Sorry I’m asking because I’m on my phone and can’t watch the video.

      • parisienne October 18, 2012 at 2:31 PM #

        LB,

        Research. I’m sure its all there just covered up because no one wants to ruin an image. You should see the one they did on Hitler. Interesting.

        I found it. Here it is if anyone would like to watch it. I may not be around tonight but I will try to check in when I can.

        • Comic Relief October 18, 2012 at 7:52 PM #

          Hitler, I guess we’re going a little far field here.

          • Comic Relief October 18, 2012 at 8:00 PM #

            Hitler, I guess we’re going a little far afield here.

        • ozzie20 October 18, 2012 at 8:23 PM #

          I’m saving these two too!

        • Open Book October 18, 2012 at 8:24 PM #

          I will have to watch this later too. Darn it! U really did some great research Paris. LOVE IT!!

    • Comic Relief October 18, 2012 at 7:55 PM #

      Paris,

      No doubt about it, this is not only an extremely timely article but an
      essential one also. I think your sense of timing has always been
      impeccable. I‘m almost sure we will discuss this yet I believe
      President’s frequently define something in the countries collective
      appetite for national leaders. The US will get Obama again or we will
      get the first Republican President sympathetic to the ideals of the
      tea-party.

      As for H2, I remember talking about Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” maybe
      of last year. I remember YOU were one of the biggest critics or
      cynics of the likelihood of there being evidence regarding Hoover’s
      relationship with men. I don’t think there is any doubt he was a
      cross dresser, and if beliefs haven’t changed recently, that is not
      proof of homosexuality. Toay most people don’t consider it the abomination people used to, yet I remember agreeing with you that the shockingly new evidence as it was presented in the biopic just didn’t seem likely. Unfortunately have to admit, I
      never read the book that Eastwood and DiCaprio relied on.

      • Comic Relief October 18, 2012 at 7:57 PM #

        Paris,

        I’m saying I want to see the written evidence, eye-witness testimony,
        and other verifications before I believe Abraham Lincoln had male
        lovers. Or as the documentary specified “slept with men.” The 1860’s
        were a long time ago and customs regarding male intimacy may have been
        very different. I have seen many pictures of men slow dancing
        together within prairie and gold mining town’s and I’m not sure that
        occurred because women were scarce. So if Lincoln had a thing for
        guys, I think I would adapt to this quickly. I appreciate when people
        rewrite history with more accurate information than what was
        originally known. Yet I hate revisionist historians who use current
        fads to reconstruct the lives of people who are dead and or can’t
        disagree.

        Regarding, Lincoln being a racist that was an absolute necessity
        regarding 1860’s social and political life. “Looking for Lincoln” is
        a complicated and far less linear documentary dedicated to Lincoln’s
        life. Less interested in debunking or scooping, Henry Louis Gates
        produces a well-reasoned exploration of Lincoln’s life and career. The
        viewer will be far more impressed with the man and his historic growth
        than would be possible before seeing the documentary.

        • Comic Relief October 18, 2012 at 7:59 PM #

          • ozzie20 October 18, 2012 at 8:37 PM #

            And another one to watch! 🙂

        • Open Book October 18, 2012 at 8:27 PM #

          Very well said. CR! U stated what I was trying to say below much better. LOL!!

    • Open Book October 18, 2012 at 8:09 PM #

      Paris,

      I will have to watch this later. However, I think its funny how every successful figure is tagged a homosexual. Its never the homeless, mentally challenged individual etc.. That certain groups go after or want to be associated with its only those who are successful. Why is that?

      None the less, his wife was pretty bat crazy so it’s plausible he had reason to want to play for the other team. Plus his first love died so why not try the other team. My point is what’s more important to remember him for? his sexual preferences or the emancipation proclamation?

      • Open Book October 18, 2012 at 8:22 PM #

        I meant to say: It’s funny how certain groups go after those who are successful rather than those who are not. What’s to be gained in uncovering these details if the person went out of their way to keep them hidden. Plus I’ve always wondered back then about men spending years away from their wives in the military etc.. What did they do? Hell what did women do for those long stretches? LOL!!

  4. littlebells October 18, 2012 at 7:00 PM #

    How did Presidents campaign or run for office back in the day?

    • Open Book October 18, 2012 at 8:14 PM #

      Money, and Power is how people ran for office back in the day. Oh! Establishing the laws to keep other people from power helps too. LOL!!

  5. ozzie20 October 18, 2012 at 7:37 PM #

    Hi everyone!

    Great article Paris. I have a feeling it’s going to be a good discussion too! Thanks for the link, I’ll be watching those later! 🙂

  6. Open Book October 18, 2012 at 7:56 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

  7. Comic Relief October 18, 2012 at 8:07 PM #

    Paris,
    Most of the videos about the Presidents on this page are fairly sympathetic politcally. Do you think this is appropriate?

  8. parisienne October 18, 2012 at 8:08 PM #

    Hi All!

    I’m here but doing a million things.

    • Open Book October 18, 2012 at 8:10 PM #

      No problem!

  9. Open Book October 18, 2012 at 8:36 PM #

    Given the current Presidential campaign. Do u think President Obama or Romney’s sex life should factor into you voting for them?

    • Comic Relief October 18, 2012 at 8:40 PM #

      No that isn’t the kind of performance we need to see nor think about.

      • Comic Relief October 18, 2012 at 8:41 PM #

        Why do you ask?

        • Open Book October 19, 2012 at 9:06 AM #

          I ask because if people are more concerned today about what “good works” they do in the bedroom vs. the boardroom then we have bigger problems. IMO!

    • parisienne October 18, 2012 at 10:01 PM #

      No their sex life is their business as is everyone else’s.

  10. Comic Relief October 18, 2012 at 8:49 PM #

    Paris,

    Interesting topic.

    Talk to everyone soon.

    Bye.

  11. Open Book October 18, 2012 at 8:50 PM #

    I have to go as well. Great research Paris. I will check back later.

    TC!

  12. parisienne October 18, 2012 at 10:00 PM #

    Hi Everyone,

    Sorry about my absent-mindedness. As far as Lincoln being rumored to be a homosexual it doesn’t matter. Neither does J. Edgar Hoover’s sexuality. I think though OB, in response to your statement about successful people being tagged as homosexual.

    I think that is because successful people have many enemies and those enemies will use anything they can to bring that person down. What’s an easy way to do that? Label that person a homosexual. Why? Its an adbomination against God according to religious text. Sadly in our present time, homosexuals are looked at in a negative light.

    So whether or not either of these men were homosexual makes no difference to me. It just goes to show how rumored sexuality plays in their public/professional life.

    • parisienne October 18, 2012 at 10:03 PM #

      Also, I said that it was interesting that Lincoln was rumored to be bi-sexual. It had to come from somewhere. Someone had to write it down. Then again it could be a really bad game of chinese telephone.

    • Open Book October 19, 2012 at 9:53 AM #

      Paris,

      IMO unless your trying to be the President of an escort service then sexual preferences, talent or expertise should not matter.

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