- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 16, 2014

Persistent researchers at Wall Street 24/7 girded their loins and tallied up the assets of all American presidents past and present to assemble a list of the Top 10 wealthiest occupants of the Oval Office — based on land holdings; inheritance; income before, during and after; plus adjustments for money values then and now, among many factors. Some presidents went broke, some never had any money, some made lots of it.

Analyst Ashley Allen points out for example, that former President Bill Clinton has made more than $100 million on the speaking circuit in recent years, with more from books deals. Mr. Clinton is, in fact, the only currently living president who is counted among the “wealthiest of all time.”

Unrelated but still pertinent: Hillary Rodham Clinton received a $14 million advance on her new memoirs, which are due out on June 1 — but the book still has no formal title. Perhaps reflective of the undetermined status of her potential presidential campaign. But let us move along. Who are the richest presidents? Here they are, along with their estimated personal wealth.

In first place, it’s none other than George Washington, whose net worth was $525 million; his salary, the researchers found, was 2 percent of the total U.S. budget for 1789.

In second place: Thomas Jefferson ($212 million), followed by Theodore Roosevelt ($125 million), Andrew Jackson ($119 million) and James Madison ($101 million).

In sixth place: Lyndon B. Johnson ($98 million) followed by Herbert Hoover ($75 million), Franklin D. Roosevelt ($60 million), Bill Clinton ($55 million) and John F. Kennedy ($1 billion). The analysts point out that the figure reflects Kennedy wealth that was shared in a trust with other family members, and that the president “never inherited his father’s fortune,” thus placing him at the bottom of the list.

And President Obama? Wall Street 24/7 estimated his current worth to be $7.5 million.

ISSA IN THE GRANITE STATE

Alarms go off when certain politicians show up in certain states. The alarm du jour belongs to one Rep. Darrell Issa; the California Republican has journeyed from the balmy Golden State to arctic New Hampshire for myriad reasons.

He penned a guest op-ed titled “Here’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats” for the Concord Monitor on Sunday. “Every president jealously guards and gathers power,” Mr. Issa wrote. “Executive power may be the most efficient when it is dictatorial, but our nation was founded on the principle of avoiding dictatorial power — today’s reality is that countless unnamed and unknown bureaucrats yield tremendous power over people’s lives.”

But wait. The lawmaker is also the keynote speaker for the Concord Republican City and Merrimack County committees’ annual Lincoln Day Dinner on Monday evening in the state’s capital. The group’s emphasis?

“From Operation Fast & Furious to the IRS targeting scandal to the disastrous implementation of the president’s health care plan, Congressman Issa has been standing with the American people to protect their right to know what this government is doing,” says Kerry Marsh, chairman of the Concord GOP.

Mr. Issa’s not done yet, though. On Tuesday, he is the main course for “Politics and Eggs,” a longstanding, monthly breakfast forum for political and business leaders organized by Saint Anselm’s College and closely monitored by the press. The locals refer to the event as “an established stop” for those toying with a White House run; Mr. Issa’s speech topic: “Connecting to our future.” Donald Trump appeared at the event last month.

Meanwhile, “New Hampshire will be the center of the political universe — again — at least on the Republican side,” predicts the Union Leader newspaper’s political analyst John DiStaso. “At least eight potential presidential candidates will be attending two huge events the Republican Party’s Northeast Leadership Conference on March 14 and the ‘Freedom Summit’ put on by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and Citizens United on April 12.”

GOVERNOR CRISPY

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