Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Fix Political Hall of Fame: The Nominations Are In!



Tip O'Neill, Richard Nixon, and Franklin Roosevelt comprise the first nominating class of the Political Hall of Fame.

The Fix Political Hall of Fame has officially opened its doors!

Today, we unveil the first three nominees to join our inaugural class of Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan in the hallowed halls.

Thanks to everyone who offered a nomination in our post last week; we got lots of great submissions but narrowed it down to three: former presidents Richard Nixon and Franklin Delano Roosevelt and former speaker of the House Tip O'Neill.

Nixon, one of the most controversial politicians in modern memory, was a part of public life for nearly four decades -- a remarkable career that included winning races for the House, Senate, vice presidency and presidency and losing contests for governor and president. Nixon also gave us Checkers, "you won't have Nixon to kick around anymore", and, of course, Watergate.

FDR spent more time -- 12 years -- as the nation's chief executive than anyone before or since and, arguably, had more influence in shaping the modern presidency than anyone who occupied the Oval Office. FDR's dozen years in the White House were filled with giant challenges (the Great Depression, World War II) and equally large solutions put forward by a man who used his gift for rhetoric and strength of personality to convince the American public of the rightness of his course. (Remind you of any other modern president?)

And, finally, Tip O'Neill, who, like Johnson in the Senate, redefined what it means to be the most powerful man in the House. O'Neill, the consummate Boston politician, spent more than 30 years in Congress including ten years as Speaker of the House. O'Neill was an unapologetic liberal and spent much of his speakership in a pitched battle against then President Ronald Reagan over what role the government should have in average peoples' lives. (A side note: For more on Tip, make sure to read John Aloysius Farrell's tremendous biography of the Boston pol.)

Nixon, FDR and O'Neill will each be featured in a case for and against his inclusion in the HOF in the coming weeks and then we will put it to a vote. Whoever gets the most votes will be inducted as the first HOFer elected by Fixistas.

First on the docket for a case for/case against will be Nixon. Check back in this space over the next few days to read why Tricky Dick should make the Hall (and why not).

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 29, 2009; 2:39 PM ET
Categories:  Hall of Fame  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Most Important Number in Politics Today
Next: Morning Fix: The Fight That Wasn't

Comments

The only persons who ever trashed Governor Palin were DEMOCRATS. Their unwarranted hate for her is incredible.

No one in public politics today is STUPIDER than Joe Biden. He continues, daily, to let all of us know.

Posted by: Mainer1776 | July 2, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Well, regardless of what you thought, Ms. Fey was never an official spokesperson for Gov. Palin -- other parts of Fey's skits were, indeed, verbatim quotes from Palin -- nice try though.

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, but I always thought of Tina as an official spokesperson for Gov. Palin.

You know what would be funny though is to take a bunch of Tina Fey quotes from that election and a bunch of Sarah Palin quotes and play a game of match the quote to the speaker.

Posted by: andygoldman | June 30, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

You do realize that the foreign policy argument of "I can see Russia from my back yard" was Tina Fey's caricature, right?

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I do like the Gov. Palin nomination, however, I feel that she is only relevant now. I'm afraid she will be long forgotten in twenty years. Although the foreign policy argument of "I can see Russia from my back yard" may never die.

As for Obama, you are right, if he is a one term wonder that doesn't actually pass anything with his grass roots, he will be a political afterthought like Carter.

Posted by: andygoldman | June 30, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

andygoldman:

If Obama becomes another one-term wonder like Carter -- or worse -- then he won't be "politically interesting and fascinating" for long. No modern-era politician has risen as fast as Gov. Palin though. See new thread:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/eye-on-2012/the-most-important-number-in-p-4.html

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I nominated Gov. Palin FYI.

Posted by: JakeD

==

Why don't you just nominate Ann Coulter? You know Palin's not a noteworthy politician in any possible way, but if it'll get you some attention that's really all you care about.

"I can see Russia from an island in Alaska. Stop making fun of my cow of a daughter."

Yeah great choice.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 30, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"I feel that Strom Thurmond and his Dixiecrat Party and his gratuitous use of the filibuster have also been left off of this list."

While it took a while, ole Strom ultimately was a big fat loser on civil rights issues. So what I nominate him for is the dustbin of history.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | June 30, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

LOL Gov Palin. Great nomination, idiot.

The mayor of a small town, the governor of a small state. Loser by a huge margin as veep nominee. Yeah, that resume has "political hall of fame" written all over it.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | June 30, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Jake D, your point is well taken, however, this is a "political" Hall of Fame and not a "policy" or "Good for America" Hall of Fame. While this blog has been focusing somewhat on the policy, the main crux seems to be the game and science of politics and what is being done to pass those policies. Thus I would argue that "politically interesting and fascinating" is exactly what we are looking for.

Now one can definitely argue that FDR had his own way. If FDR would have been the requested topic of conversation, I could have written a good one for him as well, but FDR's main legacy is policy, not politics. He has many policy legacies, but two main political legacies (the two term Presidential limit and the threat to increase the number of Justices on the Supreme Court in order to pass New Deal policies).

I feel that all three of these men should make it, probably over Clinton and definitely over LBJ; Reagan did have his own political legacy that is Hall of Fame worthy.

I'm not willing to declare Obama Hall-worthy yet, but I sense that he will be soon. He has utilized technology to create a grassroots campaign and continues to do so to force policies through that would previously not have had a chance. This strategy, so far effective, requires his opposition to come up with a new way to combat it. If he proves successful with this strategy in the long run, he will revolutionize political science (not to mention his destruction of the Bradley effect).

I feel that Strom Thurmond and his Dixiecrat Party and his gratuitous use of the filibuster have also been left off of this list.

Posted by: andygoldman | June 30, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

HONEST ABE, FDR, LBJ, JFK, TRICKY DICK, SLICK WILLIE, THE PEANUT, THE GIPPER, TIP, NEWT, AGNU, DICK, GORE, IKE, TRUMAN, WILSON, NADER, COOLIDGE (sp), HOOVER, TEDDY, GEORGE, THOMAS, ULYSSES, JOHN (and QUINCY).

that's it for now.

Posted by: johnlindauer | June 30, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Your use of the term "tricky Dick" which is a favorite of the MSM whenever it discusses Nixon should be sent to the trash can of history. If my memory serves me correctly all the Democrats you have included in your Hall of Fame also had uncomplimentary names, most of which, if not all, never appear in print!

Posted by: torytwo | June 30, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

theamazingjex:

I nominated Gov. Palin FYI.

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Chris, the problem with your list is that you haven't spread it out enough. You chose three undisputed A-list heavyweight champions and are making us choose only one. A better list to choose from would be:
FDR, Woodrow Wilson, and Robert Kennedy
Here there would be some arguing but at least a consensus would emerge.

But FDR, Richard Nixon, and Tip O'Neill all deserve to be in the Hall of Fame as they all made major and lasting contributions to American politics in the 20th century. I've already mentioned FDR and Nixon's accomplishments. But Tip O'Neill was incredibly important as well. He was the second-longest serving Speaker of the House of all time. He was incredibly effective and without him, much of the New Deal/Great Society agenda would have been destroyed by Reagan.

I still can't believe that you put Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, and BIll Clinton in the Hall of Fame before FDR. If I were you I would go in chronological order and begin with the early 20th century and go from there. But if I were you I would also not create this list.

Posted by: fable104 | June 30, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

This is so stupid. I expected better of you Chris. What is a "Politcal Hall of Fame"?
The idea that you would include Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan in a political Hall of Fame but not include Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Richard Nixon demonstrates the pure idiocy of this exercise.
FDR was the longest serving president of all time, led the nation out of the Great Depression and WWII, and was one of the greatest presidents of all time.
RIchard Nixon engaged in one of the greatest crimes a president has ever committed and was one of the few presidents who has ever been caught for engaging in a massive abuse of executive power. Unfortunately he was pardoned. One of his major legacies is that because of his crimes people still distrust and hate politicians.

Posted by: fable104 | June 30, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Nixon abused his power. He committed war crimes. He used presidential power against political opponents.

He was nevertheless a great man.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Tricky Dicky should be in the Hall of Shame for the way he abused his power.

Posted by: WorkatHomeGuy | June 29, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

News flash. Libs are going to raise taxes. Surprised?

==

So? If raising taxes gets us out of debt faster, and gets medical coverage for those 50 million who have only the emergency room, I'm good with it.

If you would rather pay lower taxes, or no taxes, you have over 200 other countries to choose from, many of them with lower taxes than here.

Might not get the services you're used to though, but you knew that, didn't you?

You didn't know that?

You expect to get something for nothing?

Figures.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm worried that this system is biased in favor of better known pols. Case in point is the fact that presidents are so easy to suggest when they only represent a small number of the multitude of politicians.

==

It would be shocking were it otherwise. Only people interested in history are going to know anything about politicians from times before their own.

Yeah it's a seriously trivial blog entry, I don't think the point is to establish anything genuine, just get people talking, which is fine.


Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Nixon and Tip don't seem like H.O.F. material to me, so I'll be looking forward to seeing the cases made for them. FDR seems like such an obvious choice though.

I'm worried that this system is biased in favor of better known pols. Case in point is the fact that presidents are so easy to suggest when they only represent a small number of the multitude of politicians.

Posted by: theamazingjex | June 29, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

What I suspect you don't understand is that key to the Democratic party's recent success is the return of the moderate left. My senator, Jim Webb, for example.

==

Why would I have any trouble grasping that? Even though my own politics is far to the left of the Democrats, I'm politically realistic. I thought Webb ran a fine campaign, and I understand just fine that nobody to his left would win in Virginia, where I grew up (more than any other state, anyway, there were passages in Charleston and Rota between Virginia).

That doesn't change the fact that on the world stage, America remains a very far right country, our "center" would be loony fringe most anywhere.

SciFi? CJ Cherryh rocks my world, especially the Merchanter universe (I read Foreigner but it's second best).

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

For the record, no one "screened" his qualifications, but I would at least stop posting about it if Obama released his LONG FORM birth certificate.

==

No, you would just change a few words and go right on posting the same drivel.

This kind of BS is what passes for "having a life" in your case.

How'd your appointment with your caseworker go? The checks gonna keep coming? Of course they are. Congratulations on gaming the Nut Check system yet again.

Why should Obama have to release his birth certificate? Do you really believe that he would be president if he weren't eligible? Are you really that stupid?

Or is this one of those "I can't handle it!" things?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

News flash. Libs are going to raise taxes. Surprised?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

@chrisfox - I doubt I'll be having lunch with Jake anytime soon, but I think it would be an interesting and entertaining meal. And I suspect if you and I were ever to have lunch, it'd be a lot of fun. I'm guessing a lot of scifi geeking out. There are relatively few folks on these boards with whom I could not find some common ground.

I follow the Fix, because I am interested in politics. I sit on the left, but hope to see the return of the moderate right. What I suspect you don't understand is that key to the Democratic party's recent success is the return of the moderate left. My senator, Jim Webb, for example.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 29, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

For the record, no one "screened" his qualifications, but I would at least stop posting about it if Obama released his LONG FORM birth certificate.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Like it would make any difference if Obama did "reveal" his "LONG FORM birth certificate."

I don't need to see the results of Sec'y Gates' security clearance, I'm content to assume that it was carried out by the professionals charged with that responsibility, and that he passed.

Wonder what it is with these nincompoops they think they're actually onto something with Obama.

The essence of trolling is not to make a point (they can't), the essence of trolling is to get attention. I don't want to even imagine the sorry, shabby reality that Jake's life must be that trolling these comments every single day counts as rewarding.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I like to see jaked post his birth certificate thing as often as possible; an intelligent reader will consider everything else he says in light of it.

He usually hides the racist shtick pretty well, so the BC thing is the best view casual or new readers get into what a sick puppy he is.

I just wish I could block it myself, as the first 1000 times were ample for convincing me what a sorry case jaked is.

Posted by: nodebris | June 29, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

":

I would think that the designation of hall-of-famer would be based on the man's legacy and achievements, not on what personal or physical shortcomings he had to overcome to make them. Everyone has personal challenges; FDR was in a wheelchair but hey, Nixon grew up in a family where you wore a tie to the dinner table, and he had violent anti-communist tendencies that fractured his view of the world. Tip O'NeilL had a weight problem. Whoop. O'NeiLl was the last great SotH, but I don't see him in the same light of greatness as the other two. I nominate Fëanor ... Posted by: chrisfox8"

Of the three, as POLITICIANS, rank them FDR, Oniel, and then a distant third Nixon. FDR and Tip were consummate politicians. Nixon was much more of a schemer.

Posted by: ceflynline | June 29, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else?

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I also don't believe that Elvis Presley is still alive or in UFOs, but if you'd rather lump me in with those groups, too, there's nothing I can do to stop you.

==

I could believe in interplanetary visits or a faked celebrity death a lot easier than I could believe that Obama managed to become president without solid evidence of his eligibility.

You're a complete nut.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey Fairlington, next time you lunch with Jake, please spot him a small bottle of Vaseline and explain that it's for that LONG FORM thing. You can help him roll it up into a thin tube too.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Just. Shut. Up.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Too bad you couldn't keep "ignoring" me.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jake, shut up with this crap. You look like a complete effing idiot. Nobody cares, nobody believes it, you're wasting time. Just shut the hell up with this birth certificate BS, you cretin.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Here's a copy of a LONG FORM birth certificate from Hawaii (circa. 1963) to see how simple it would be to get the information requested:

http://snarkybytes.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/hawaii-birth-certificate-1963.jpg

Wouldn't it be funny if Obama really wasn't born in the U.S.?

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

The birth certificate crap is as you all say, really ludicrous. I wish CC would ban people who are obvious liars and lunatics like this, but he says he doesn't have the time to do that.

==

Not his responsibility.

WaPo has people who manage the comment sections and are supposed to enforce the rules and manage the tone. They're not doing their job.

Haven't seen a dot.comments for a while, did Doug Feaver get the push too? He really didn't seem to have any sense of what was a good post and what was just loud garbage.

I used to manage message boards back when I took online commentary more seriously .. any board that includes actual commentary and fails to ban the trolls very quickly degenerates to all trolls all the time, it's too easy for an energetic moron to ruin a forum, and impossible to get everyone else to ignore them. A good board manager has to be ready to pull the trapdoor lever.

I manage a yahoo mailing list for people in my area who own parrots. Even we get gooper trolls, as well as angry troublemakers. I ban people routinely and I don't lose any sleep wondering if I'm being unfair. We have a really cool and extremely supportive community, as in paying vet bills for strangers supportive, it's worth too much to let some head case ruin it in a desperate demand for some attention.

We even had one guy who went spla when he found he had unapologetic gay liberal in reach of his email. His life has completely fallen apart since McCain lost.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The birth certificate crap is as you all say, really ludicrous. I wish CC would ban people who are obvious liars and lunatics like this, but he says he doesn't have the time to do that.

The thing to know about Nixon is that he was born in the thick of john Birch Society terrortory, and that informed a lot of his crazier and more paranoid beleifs. He was a great friend to that hateful society of white supremacists and conspiracy theorists.

Posted by: drindl | June 29, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Nixon

Posted by: JakeD

==

WOW THANKS WHY IT NEVER OCCURRED TO ANYONE TO LOOK HIM UP IN WIKIPEDIA YOU MUST BE REALLY SMART

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

FWIW: Richard MILHOUS Nixon was actually born in the United States (Yorba Linda, California, to be exact) -- and you can visit the actual house to see his actual birth certificate -- it's a National Historic Landmark:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon_Birthplace

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The three are all good choices, but I don't see how FDR isn't the obvious favorite. Saw our way through the Depression and WWII. Both of those opened up new paradigms about the role of government both at home and abroad.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 29, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Not only did Nixon successfully negotiate the ceasefire with North Vietnam and open relations with the People's Republic of China (as already noted), he also reaped the benefit of the space race and eventually initiated détente with the Soviet Union (as Vice-President in Moscow in 1959, while touring the exhibits with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, they stopped at a model of an American kitchen and engaged in the impromptu "Kitchen Debate" about the merits of capitalism versus Communism). On May 24, 1972, Nixon approved a five-year cooperative program between NASA and the Soviet space program, culminating in the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, a joint-mission of an American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft in 1975.

Nixon also supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War and helped resolve the Indo-Pakistani War which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. He was the ultimate foreign policy politician.

Keep in mind, as well, that Nixon effectively ended the military draft in this country with the formation of the Gates Commission to look into ending the military service draft, implemented under President Johnson. The Gates Commission issued its report in February 1970, describing how adequate military strength could be maintained without having conscription. The draft was, unfortunately, extended to June 1973 but then ended once and for all. Up to the present day, military pay was increased as the primary incentive to attract volunteers, and television advertising for the United States Army began in earnest.

Domestically, Nixon's just a mediocre figure and, of course, was forced to resign. As a foreign STATESMAN, however, Nixon was the perfect politician of the 20th Century. As someone else pointed out, only Churchill was his equal.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

They have no shame. They won't stop. That's why we need an "Ignore This Poster" button.

==

Actually what we really need is to inform their caseworkers how they spend their time, and the real reason neither of them is making any progress on their mental health or their employment.

The birth certificate stuff is insufferably stupid.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"There is a cadre of commenters whose political monomania is really taking the joy out of this column."

They have no shame. They won't stop. That's why we need an "Ignore This Poster" button.

Posted by: nodebris | June 29, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

al_jal:

For the record, I have posted the MOST about the topic than anyone else here. If you would like to actually debate why President Nixon deserves induction into the Fix's "Political Hall of Fame" please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Holding, as I do, to the firm notion that TR, HST, and FDER should have been your first three, I think FDR is the choice for this round. His leadership during WW2 was enough to secure his place.

As for your other choices, I will say that Tip O'Neill was in no way a game changer and that the most powerful Speaker in my lifetime was Sam Rayburn. Speaker Sam set the standard, and no other Speaker should be considered ahead of him.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 29, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey zouk &Jake, why don't you two get a room? Stop trying to hijack yet another thread with these stupid anti-Obama screeds.

You guys don't like Obama, you resent his successes and you resent the crap out of his popularity, given that your own party is about as popular as gonorrhea right now.

We get it.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I love to read the comments here, but can everyone manage to stick to the topic of the posting?!?!?! There is a cadre of commenters whose political monomania is really taking the joy out of this column. We (and they) know who they are.

Posted by: al_jal | June 29, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I would think that the designation of hall-of-famer would be based on the man's legacy and achievements, not on what personal or physical shortcomings he had to overcome to make them. Everyone has personal challenges; FDR was in a wheelchair but hey, Nixon grew up in a family where you wore a tie to the dinner table, and he had violent anti-communist tendencies that fractured his view of the world.

Tip O'NeilL had a weight problem. Whoop.

O'NeiLl was the last great SotH, but I don't see him in the same light of greatness as the other two.

I nominate Fëanor ...

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama continues “to look for a church home,” and said a magazine report that he has stopped is erroneous. White House deputy press secretary Jen Psaki said by e-mail: "The president and first family continue to look for a church home.


I guess it must be hard to find one that spews out the hate he is accustomed to.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

All three obviously belong in any HOF, so I guess this is all about who gets voted first.

FDR obviously deserves it first, by any measure. His legacy is considerably more substantive, positive, and long lasting.

I'm not convinced by Gallenod's assertion that FDR and Nixon faced "commensurate challenges." Similar in type, perhaps, as are most problems presidents face; but that's not what "commensurate" means. Vietnam was not commensurate with WWII, inflation was not commensurate with the Great Depression, etc., etc., etc.

All Gallenod's other arguments that slight FDR's accomplishments and accentuate Nixon's are a little too contrived, and boil down to the highly debatable notion that somehow FDR had it easy compared to Nixon. I don't think so. Just consider: FDR did it all from a wheelchair.

Posted by: nodebris | June 29, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I should mention, of course, that a 2003 retrospective study concluded FDR more likely had Guillain-Barré syndrome. Either way, he "overcame more" than Nixon did to attain the Oval Office:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt%27s_paralytic_illness

Nonetheless, my vote goes to Nixon.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Gallenod:

To his credit, FDR overcame polio and became President in a wheelchair -- Nixon sweat too much -- I'd give FDR the nod in that regard.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget that Nixon was ultimately a negative force, while FDR changed the course of history to a much greater extent and had far greater challenges.

==

Not disputing FDR's succession of major challenges in office but to dismiss Nixon as entirely negative is more than a little facile.

For a former HUAC member to open the door to "Red" China, for any Republican to sign NEPA, these are major distinctions.

Look what kind of cavemen are running the party now .. willing to cook our one and only habitable world to score points with people who wouldn't even have grown to adulthood if life handed them a single survival challenge.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

FDR had his moments, but he had some advantages Nixon didn't.

FDR swept into power with Democratic majorities in Congress; Nixon had to deal with a Democratic Congress.

While FDR got a lot of legislation passed, he misstepped in a couple areas, notably trying to expand and pack the Supreme Court. He also didn't really solve the Depression--that took WWII. Social Security, though, was a huge accomplishment (which conservatives will never forgive him for).

Nixon resurrected in political career from the grave to win the Presidency. FDR never had to deal with a similar situation.

Nixon's landslide win in 1972 was the third highest electoral total in history (only Massachussets voted against him) and was, again, in spite of the electorate returning a Democratic Congress. Roosevelt had a higher total in 1936, but with much more favorable conditions for Democrats, and his total slipped in the next two elections.

Roosevelt and his advisors sorely miscalculated the political and military situation prior to Pearl Harbor, though they mostly made up for it afterwards. Nixon, on the other hand, managed to both get us out of Vietnam and into China.

Both men had their problems, though Roosevelt's were more along the lines of alchoholism and mistresses while Nixon's cost him the presidency.

But if we were voting for nice, trustworthy politicians, none of the three would be on the list.

All three are great nominees, but Nixon faced and overcame greater personal political adversity than the other two while facing commensurate challenges (war, economic problems, political upheavals, etc.).

Like I said, all three should make the HoF, but of the three I still think this nod shoudl go to Nixon.

Posted by: Gallenod | June 29, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Well, Joe Biden DID say that Obama would be tested ... I just had no idea that he would fail every single one.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza:

Please consider this post an official absentee ballot request and/or vote cast for Richard M. Nixon.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

World tells Honduras to reinstate ousted president


World tells Iran to stop killing its citizens

World tells Korea to stop shooting missiles, to stop spreading weapons.

US cowers in basement, silent.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk:

You also saw today that the United States Supreme Court slapped down Sotomayor again, right?

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Honduras' newly appointed leader vowed Monday to resist pressure from across the Americas to reinstate the president ousted in a military coup, as protesters burned tires outside the occupied presidential palace.

Call it the Obambi effect. Despots all over the world are realizing the US will not lift a finger anymore.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

How you can put Tip O'Neal besides FDR leads me to believe this HOF is worthless and not worth much of our time. I could go on and explain how one had hugh impact while the other had less impact than Uncle Joe Cannon as Speaker but I'm sure our erudite posters know.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 29, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

BTW: isn't a "HOFer" what the kids who inhale glue or hellium are called nowadays?

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Gallenod:

Of course, there are political actors who aren't politicians -- Lee Attwater as well as Karl Rove -- we'll have to "agree to disagree" about whether they used their powers for "good" etc. Luckily, for us conservatives, Tip and FDR will most likely split the liberal vote ; )

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

andygoldman:

While I agree with you about Richard Nixon, this is not about the "most interesting and fascinating political people of all time" -- it's a Political HALL OF FAME -- so Barack Obama (even assuming he is a natural-born citizen) doesn't make it quite yet.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

A one year moratorium after a nomination seems fair.

I wouldn't even limit nominations to elected officials. There are political actors who aren't politicians. I expect at some point Karl Rove will be a nominee even though he's never held elected office simply because he managed to make George W. Bush look presidential enough to get him elected.

Though I wish Rove would have used his powers for "good" instead of simply promoting a career underachiever to the govenorship of Texas and the White House, you have to appreciate the amount of evil, amoral political genius that it took to pull it off.

I'd have rather we started with Jefferson or Lincoln, though. The sleaze/corruption factor for all three current nominees is pretty high.

Posted by: Gallenod | June 29, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Gallenod above seems not to be aware that FDR was effective in using power and exploiting opportunities. Nixon comes nowhere near close to FDR in those ways. Don't forget that Nixon was ultimately a negative force, while FDR changed the course of history to a much greater extent and had far greater challenges. FDR is the greatest President except for Lincoln, and was rated number 2 behind Albert Einstein as Time Magazine Person of the Century. Nixon is not in the same league as FDR, but honestly neither is Bill Clinton.

Posted by: POLITHIST | June 29, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think there is any question that Nixon should be in the HOF. He is by far the most interesting political figure of the 20th Century and has carried many other interesting political figures on his coat tails.

Nixon resigned his office 35 years ago and is still an ever present figure in modern culture today. His modern influence has stretched from Oscar nominated movies (Frost Nixon, All the President's Men, Forest Gump) to animated sitcoms (President of Earth in Futurama).

Nixon has been such a fascinating figure in American history that everyone associated with him became famous (G. Gordon Liddy was a successful radio talk show host for heaven's sake and we were all on the edge of our seats over 30 years later for the announcement that an unknown FBI agent was Deep Throat). He even managed to take a little known luxury hotel and make it into an icon of politics, so much so that every major political scandal has been named with the same final four letters "gate." In fact, it's arguable that two of the three members of the inducted class Bill Clinton and Lyndon Johnson aren't nearly as fascinating if not for Richard Nixon.

Nixon along with Kennedy also participated in the first televised Presidential debates, showing the importance of those debates, Nixon was key in opening up China to foreign business and his work after his pardon was also very beneficial to the United States.

Not only should Richard Nixon be a member of the U.S. Political Hall of Fame, he should be a charter member; and should be regarded alongside Winston Churchill (and now possibly Barack Obama) among the most interesting and fascinating political people of all time.

Posted by: andygoldman | June 29, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

CC,
If this is going to be monthly, you could consider just having the poll (and nominations) every month and having a rolling list of candidates, adding candidates as you have time to make cases for and against. Then, when one of these three gets elected, there will be one (or more) candidates to replace him. You could even include Baseball HOF rules -- if any candidate does not get appreciable support for a X number of polls in a row, then his/her name is dropped from the list.

Just a suggestion. I think all three of these candidates belong in a Fix Political Hall of Fame.

Posted by: mnteng | June 29, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone going to comment on O'Neil, Roosevelt, and Nixon, or will most of the comments in here be a rehash of the same old birth certificate, troll, and conspiracy theory rants (to call them debates would demean the word) ad infinitum?

Though to his credit, at least JakeD picked one (Nixon) of the three before the whole idea of topicality went pear-shaped.

Posted by: Gallenod | June 29, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

P.S. I would hope, to be fair, that neither O'Neill nor FDR could be nominated again (at least not until next year ; )

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Gallenod:

I will probably vote for Nixon out of these three nominees as well. Did you read the "Methodology" and view the video linked below? Nominations were accepted last week. I don't think that politicians from the last 25 years should be excluded (nor should it be limited to politicians that attained the Oval Office).

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Just saw JakeD's post about this being a monthly poll, so I withdraw my "three at a time" suggestion.

However, that raises another question: How many time can a person be considered for this? If we select Nixon this time, can Roosevelt be nominated again?

Posted by: Gallenod | June 29, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who looks up "jaked" in the urban dictionary can draw equally valid conclusions about what his name means.

==

A quick google search will show that posting alternately as "JakeD" and "Jake D" he's been up to the exact same troll for years, in papers all over the country.

"I'm a registered independent," "for the record," etc. He doesn't even have the brains to change the words once in a while.

Anyway, the idea that Obama is inelegible by birth to be president is infinitely more whacky than the idea that 9/11 was planned here. There's lots of evidence to corroborate the latter, none whatever to collaborate the former.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Chris, why can't we induct more than one politician into the Hall of Fame at a time? Two or three at a time might be more appropriate, as all three listed above are deserving.

If not this time, how about next time soliciting nominations and giving us Fixistas a slate of 8-10 candidates, from which we pick 3?

Also, I suggest we limit nominations to candidates whose active political career ended at least 25 years ago, so history has some time to judge them before we do. (Which would eliminate O'Neil.) I suggest 25 years because that's the time that expires before any classified information from their period of service is considered for declassification and release.

Then again, this is just a poll on a Web blog. Might as well just induct Zack Wamp now instead of waiting for his inevitable rise to the Presidency.

Of the three currently under consideration, I favor Nixon. Roosevelt was a great leader, but not as effective in employing power or exploiting opportunities as Nixon. And while O'Neil was the probably last "great" Speaker, if we have to consider someone for legislative accomplishments and politial acumen it should be Lyndon Johnson or Sam Rayburn, who set the table for him.

Posted by: Gallenod | June 29, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

nyone else who searches for "nodebris" will be interested to link to 9/11 Pentagon conspiracy theories. As I've stated, repeatedly, anyone with absolute knowledge of Obama being born outside of the U.S. is already dead.

==

You're a freak

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

jake - not really. Clinton fired the whole kit and kaboodle just to get rid of the one after him.

not a peep from his base - aka the MSM

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

At least I use my real name.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

jaked always gets upset when reminded that he's an obsessive paranoid racist freak case.

Posted by: nodebris | June 29, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Simple minded people often associate my handle with 9/11 conspiracy theories. What can I say, you can't help what dolts chose to think, can you?

Anyone who looks up "jaked" in the urban dictionary can draw equally valid conclusions about what his name means.

Posted by: nodebris | June 29, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow, it's a KOZ/jaked circle jerk. Get a room, guys.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | June 29, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk:

If not the WaPo and NYT, you would expect Talking Points Memo, at least, to rage against Obama for firing Inspectors General (quite a double standard, don't you think?).

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

It appears to me that Obama is bent on destroying our economy, our military and our missile defense system; while, at the same time, he promotes socialized medicine, hires a racist attorney general and nominates a Supreme Court nominee who parrots the party line of La Raza. This is a man who brags about nonexistent Muslim accomplishments, while taking every opportunity to denigrate America’s character, her sacrifices and her awe-inspiring achievements.

Ronald Reagan saw America as a shining city upon a hill. President Obama sees it as a slum that needs to be torn down as part of a massive reconstruction project.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else who searches for "nodebris" will be interested to link to 9/11 Pentagon conspiracy theories. As I've stated, repeatedly, anyone with absolute knowledge of Obama being born outside of the U.S. is already dead.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

However, when it comes to hypocrisy, the Times isn’t alone. For instance, when George W. Bush fired eight U.S. attorneys, the outrage voiced by the media would have had you believe that he’d personally ripped the Constitution into a thousand tiny pieces. Compare that to the silence that greeted Obama’s dismissal of Inspector General Gerald Walpin. It had been Walpin’s responsibility to oversee government-subsidized volunteer programs, such as AmeriCorps. Walpin’s team of investigators discovered serious irregularities at St. Hope, a California non-profit run by former NBA star Kevin Johnson. It seems that an $850,000 grant, which was supposed to go towards tutoring Sacramento students and supporting theater and art programs, instead was used to pad staff salaries, meddle in a local school board election and pay AmeriCorps members to perform personal services for Mr. Johnson, including washing his car.

When Walpin recommended that Johnson, an assistant and St. Hope, itself, be cut off from federal funds, he was fired by the president. Did I mention that Mr. Johnson is a friend and was an early supporter of Barack Obama? I guess you can take the man out of Chicago, but you can’t take Chicago out of the man. Not even when he’s sitting in the Oval Office.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

P.S. to nodebris: legitimate questions about why Obama won't just release his LONG FORM birth certificate (no conspiracy needed) are hardly comparable to every post by "scrivener50" accusing the government of massive conspiracy and personally targeting himself with "directed energy" weapons. I also don't believe that Elvis Presley is still alive or in UFOs, but if you'd rather lump me in with those groups, too, there's nothing I can do to stop you.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Be sure to check out Mr. Cillizza's explanation of the Political HoF:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2009/06/12/VI2009061202041.html

Also, Political HoF Methodology:

Nominees for the Fix Political Hall of Fame can come from any era and any level -- local, state or national. Nominations will be accepted from the Fix community for a week every month and from those nominations, three politicians will be chosen. Each week, a case for that politician's inclusion in the HOF and another post against it will appear on the Fix. At the end of the month members of the Fix community will be able to vote for which one of the three nominees makes it into the Hall.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The guy who babbles on out about Obama's birth certificate has no grounds to be calling others paranoid.

Posted by: nodebris | June 29, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Despite his moral failings, Richard Nixon was indeed the consummate politican (and at least NOT as paranoid as "scrivener50").

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

What the...I missed this. Your photo has changed Chris. Much better.

Posted by: hayden1 | June 29, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company