Monday, February 20, 2006

I could write a post about how the office was way too empty today, and Presidents Day isn't a real holiday, but I think I did that on Christmas Eve or Easter Sunday, so I won't bother. Instead, I thought I'd share who my favorite President is.

It's William Henry Harrison. It's disgraceful the way he's underrated by historians merely because he only served for 30 days. Harrison exemplified the spirit of this country. Despite the cold weather on inauguration day, he stepped up and gave the longest inaugural speech in history, and didn't cave into weakness and wear a coat while doing so. Even though he caught pneumonia and died, he set an example -- great Americans believe in work, and don't let circumstances get in the way. He did his job.

And, from what I've read, he ran a pretty brilliant campaign, positioning himself as a self-made man from the back country when in fact he came from a wealthy and prosperous family. He sold the country a story and they bought it. Much like I do with the law school students we recruit. In a lot of ways, he's my role model.

Two other Presidents I admire are James Garfield and Grover Cleveland. I admire Garfield for lingering for months after he was shot, and not letting the bullet get to him. I admire Cleveland for ending the Pullman strike and coming down strongly on the side of the corporations over the workers. It's heartening to see the pendulum swinging back in that direction today. Corporations are the engine of this society, not the low-skilled workers. Yesterday's railroad men are today's paralegals, and frankly we could live with fewer of them both.

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