Financial Earthquake Likely to
Alter Presidential Reputations
[Dear Regular Readers: Sorry for the extended detour into macroeconomics, politics, etc. This blog’s regular focus on Twin Cities real estate — in the words of the public service address accompanying TV interruptions — “will resume shortly . . . Please stand by.”]
I certainly don’t believe that history will vindicate George Bush’s Presidency — but I do think he was right to point out that posterity sometimes judges Presidents (and Presidencies) very differently than contemporaries do.
The best recent examples of that were Harry Truman, and, to a lesser degree, Dwight Eisenhower.
Both benefited from subsequent developments that cast their eras — and the decisions they made — in a more sympathetic light. (In Truman’s case, it certainly helped that, unlike contemporaries, historians didn’t automatically see him in FDR’s shadow.)
Already, it’s clear that the financial earthquake now in progress will have consequences for a number of U.S. Presidents, even some long departed from the scene.
Depending on what happens from here, the following is an instant snapshot of the Presidential reputations ripest for revisionism:
Reagan: down. Reason(s): seeds of current crisis sown during his terms?
Clinton: down. Reason(s): strengthening parallels between ’20’s and ’90’s. A loquacious Coolidge?
Hoover: up. Reasons(s): post-bubble Depressions not so easily avoided or combated.
Next post: back to local real estate!