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Latest Andrew Johnson Items
July 11 marked the anniversary of the birth of John Quincy Adams in 1767, sixth president of the United States and son of the second president, John Adams.
First a double disclosure: I know Jeffrey Frank, the author of "Ike and Dick," and I knew Richard Nixon, half of this book's political "portrait." I consider the former an honest, accomplished writer and the latter a flawed but visionary statesman and a personally decent man, often more sinned against than sinning. One hopes these two very different personal connections will neutralize each other.
Supposedly, this White House has just made a furious attempt to sink a book, "Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President" by Ron Suskind, which came out Sept. 20. Jay Carney, the White House spinmeister, spoke ill of it. Numerous former White House staffers spoke ill of it. Mr. Carney said "one passage seems to be lifted almost entirely from Wikipedia." Why would a respected writer want to do that? I suspect that the White House is going to be as effective in sinking Mr. Suskind as it has been in keeping President Obama's poll numbers lofty.
Doris Kearns Goodwin has read a lot of upbeat material about American presidents, but some of the entries on the White House website were so sunny that they reminded her of the happy talk at Boston Red Sox games.
Franklin D. Roosevelt again topped the Siena College survey of the best U.S. presidents, but the man sitting in the White House fewer than 18 months has cracked the Top 15.
UPDATED: As it has come down in history, President Andrew Johnson's narrow escape from being the first president convicted on impeachment charges in 1868 depended on the honorable doings of Sen. Edmund Ross of Kansas.