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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

James K. Polk-The Best President that you rarely ever heard of.


Following his list of the 7 Worst Presidents of the Last 100 Years, John Hawkins has now come out with his list of the The Seven Greatest Presidents in American History which we can discuss. Here is the list as proposed by Hawkins for the greatest presidents...

#7. Sarah Palin [2012], quote "In the spirit of giving Barack Obama a Nobel Prize for what he was going to do as President, Sarah Palin is getting the number seven slot for what she will surely do when she defeats Hillary Clinton in 2012, after Hill crushes Obama in a brutal primary." Hawkins adds that he was just kidding and now we can get down to the real 7.



#7. Dwight D. Eisenhower



#6. James Monroe



#5. Ronald Reagan



#4. James K. Polk



#3. Thomas Jefferson



#2. George Washington, and



#1. Abraham Lincoln



Some might find the above list to be a bit contraversial. The choice of Lincoln at #1 would merit it's own thread. However I thought we might take a moment to examine the presidency of one of the least known presidents on the above list, that of James K. (Knox) Polk (pictured above). According to Hawkins, ...

"Polk accomplished so much in his lone term as POTUS that he called it a career without bothering to serve to a second term. While he was President, Texas joined the union. Polk signed the Oregon Treaty with Britain, which brought Oregon, Washington, and Idaho under our control. He won the Mexican-American War, which added California, Nevada, Utah, and a large portion of Arizona -- among other states, into the Union. Add it all up and Polk expanded the territory of the United States more than any other President."

According to whitehouse.gov, James K. Polk is...

"[O]ften referred to as the first "dark horse" President, James K. Polk was the last of the Jacksonians to sit in the White House, and the last strong President until the Civil War.

He was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, in 1795. Studious and industrious, Polk was graduated with honors in 1818 from the University of North Carolina. As a young lawyer he entered politics, served in the Tennessee legislature, and became a friend of Andrew Jackson.

In the House of Representatives, Polk was a chief lieutenant of Jackson in his Bank war. He served as Speaker between 1835 and 1839, leaving to become Governor of Tennessee.

Until circumstances raised Polk's ambitions, he was a leading contender for the Democratic nomination for Vice President in 1844. Both Martin Van Buren, who had been expected to win the Democratic nomination for President, and Henry Clay, who was to be the Whig nominee, tried to take the expansionist issue out of the campaign by declaring themselves opposed to the annexation of Texas. Polk, however, publicly asserted that Texas should be "re-annexed" and all of Oregon "re-occupied."

The aged Jackson, correctly sensing that the people favored expansion, urged the choice of a candidate committed to the Nation's "Manifest Destiny." This view prevailed at the Democratic Convention, where Polk was nominated on the ninth ballot.

"Who is James K. Polk?" Whigs jeered. Democrats replied Polk was the candidate who stood for expansion. He linked the Texas issue, popular in the South, with the Oregon question, attractive to the North. Polk also favored acquiring California."

So we see, not only did achieve quite a bit in only one term of office before his health began to fail, he quite literally came out of nowhere to accomplish it. Insofar as his religious beliefs according to adherents.com...


"Although Polk was a religious man, his faith seldom equaled the stern beliefs of Sarah's outspoken devotion. Raised a Presbyterian, Polk had never been baptized due to an early family argument with the local Presbyterian minister in rural North Carolina. At age thirty-eight, Polk had a religious conversion to Methodism at a camp meeting, and thereafter he thought of himself as a Methodist. Out of respect for his mother and wife, however, he continued to attend Presbyterian services. But whenever his wife was out of town, or too ill to attend church, Polk worshiped at the local Methodist chapel. On his deathbed, he summoned the man who had converted him years before, the Reverend John B. McFerrin, who at last baptized Polk as a Methodist."


I hope you enjoyed reading up on Polk as much I did. Tune in tomorrow and we'll discuss the interesting choice of Hawkins to elevate Abraham Lincoln to the number 1 position on his list.

18 comments:

Froggie said...

JD,
I generally agree with your list (except the Palin prediction.)

I do find it interesting to note that A 2006 Siena College poll of 744 professors reported the following results:

"George W. Bush has just finished five years as President. If today were the last day of his presidency, how would you rank him?"

The responses were: Great: 2%; Near Great: 5%; Average: 11%; Below Average: 24%; Failure: 58%.

http://www.siena.edu/uploadedFiles/Home/Parents_and_Community/06_may_expert_bush_release.pdf

Arielle said...

Not only is Abraham Lincoln the #1 choice (I'll grit my teeth but I won't rant) but Grover Cleveland is not on there anywhere, so I can't take that list seriously at all.

Froggie said...

GC is not on the top ten, but he is probably #11.

You can find a great chart on the rankings of the presidents by many different polls here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_rankings_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States

JD Curtis said...

College professors skew disproportionatly liberal IMO

zilch said...

I'd pretty much agree about numbers 1 through 4, and I guess I should be happy that Dubya is not on that list.

Froggie said...

JD Curtis said...
College professors skew disproportionatly liberal IMO

-----------------------------------------

And John Hawkins is not disproportionately conservative??????????????????????????????

JD Curtis said...

Was GWB a small-government conservative? Hardly.

Gore and Kerry would have been even bigger spenders, but GWB was no Piker in his own right.

Arielle said...

I don't care about popularity. I admire Grover Cleveland greatly because he was something you almost never see these days - a politician with integrity. They weren't all that common even in his day.

Froggie said...

JD,
Sometimes I have to wonder about you.

My comment:

Froggie said...
JD Curtis said...
College professors skew disproportionatly liberal IMO

-----------------------------------------

And John Hawkins is not disproportionately conservative??????????????????????????????

You respond:

August 17, 2010 12:33 PM
JD Curtis said...
Was GWB a small-government conservative? Hardly.

Gore and Kerry would have been even bigger spenders, but GWB was no Piker in his own right.

August 17, 2010 12:58 PM
---------------------------------------------

What in the name of sanity does that have to do with anything written so far?....especially my observation about John Hawkins??

Sometimes I feel like I've stepped into an alternate universe. Just sayin'.

JD Curtis said...

The funny thing is that I truly believe that many liberals have this idea that GWB was a conservative. HA!

JD Curtis said...

Assuming Hawkins is a conservative, then why would he nominate a cryto-liberal like Bush to the list?

Christ Follower (no longer) said...

"a cryto-liberal like Bush"?

:-|

Froggie said...

****Slamming head on desk****

Froggie said...

JD Curtis said...
Assuming Hawkins is a conservative,......
--------------------------------------------

I'm sure that Hawkins, the blogger who runs "Right Wing News" and has articles accepted by "Townhall" cannot in any way be classified as a conservative or have a conservative bias.....NO WAY!!!!!!! hehe

Froggie said...

JD Curtis said...
Assuming Hawkins is a conservative, then why would he nominate a cryto-liberal like Bush to the list?

------------------------------------------

This is becoming more bizarre by the moment.

After eight years of worshipping Bush, he has no altenative other than to throw him under the bus, even coining a new term for a person that fooled them for all those years..."Crypto-Liberal!"

This is beyond funny!

JD Curtis said...

Who started the massive bailouts? Obama or Bush?Who wanted amnesty for millions of illegals? Did Bush not permit spending to increase?

He really wasnt all that conservative. But if youre going to compare him to Gore or Kerry, then who wouldnt look conservative compared to them?

Froggie said...

I compared no one to Gore or Kerry.

Your imagination is overrunning your blatent and false assertions once again.

JD, you need to get some sleep, or something. You are grasping at straws.

JD Curtis said...

blatent and false assertions

Like what?