Vice Presidents Collage

Presidents’ Day Weekend Reading: A Veepcritique Top 10

Gentle reader. I’ve been slacking at posting here lately (although there is new stuff over at Terrorwonk). I promise to do some special stuff in the next day or so over this long weekend dedicated to honoring our nation’s highest office.

But in the meantime, here are some of my old, best pieces about Presidents and Vice Presidents (because, when you are talking about the Vice President, you are really talking about the President.)

10. Forward I wrote for the only illustrated book of vice presidents with pictures of octopi on their heads – VEEPTOPUS!

9. The presidents and politicians in general we see are mere caricatures of real people who wrestle with the same things we all face. (Two for one!)

8. A little something about a lesser-known president, and his surprisingly influential vice president.

7. As VP George H.W. Bush ran a counter-terror task force for Reagan (bringing together two of my areas of interest – terrorism and VPs), here’s a short academic paper on it.

6. Here’s a strange little thing about how – in high school about three decades ago – I kind of predicted Palin.

5. No writing about the presidency would be complete without a dive into Nixonology.

4. Here’s a bit about the old/new phenomenon of White House courtiers – no presidency would be complete without some.

3. Here, I take a look at a well-known tale about Cheney, and turn it upside down, showing him, not as an all powerful eminence gris, but rather as a dutiful servant of the president.

2. This is the single most read/linked to/cited thing I think I have ever written. It is a summary and review of Stephen Skowronek’s Presidential Leadership in Political Time, which I think is a hell of a book, with a very compelling model of political cycles.

1. There is no post which better summarizes what I have really learned – in the heart, which can matter a lot more than the head, than this post about critical empathy. The post is about Jimmy Carter (who I remember as a feckless, hapless figure) but it is really about every president each of whom “only did the best he could. No man could do more.”

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