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White House description of Ulysses S. Grant's Presidency insults Grant

Discussion in 'Ulysses S. Grant' started by Canadian, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. Canadian

    Canadian Corporal

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    https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/ulyssessgrant

    Taking a hint from another forum, I'll post a couple of excerpts.

    "When he was elected, the American people hoped for an end to turmoil. Grant provided neither vigor nor reform. Looking to Congress for direction, he seemed bewildered. One visitor to the White House noted "a puzzled pathos, as of a man with a problem before him of which he does not understand the terms."

    Although a man of scrupulous honesty, Grant as President accepted handsome presents from admirers. Worse, he allowed himself to be seen with two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk. When Grant realized their scheme to corner the market in gold, he authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to sell enough gold to wreck their plans, but the speculation had already wrought havoc with business.

    During his campaign for re-election in 1872, Grant was attacked by Liberal Republican reformers. He called them "narrow-headed men," their eyes so close together that "they can look out of the same gimlet hole without winking." The General's friends in the Republican Party came to be known proudly as "the Old Guard.""



    I find that of all the biographies of the presidents on the White House website , Grant's is the only one where the president is insulted. Andrew Johnson, Buchanan, Hays and others are treated with much more respect.

    Although some people believe that Grant's reputation has been over corrected in recent years and verges on hagiography, there are still plenty of examples of popular history where the old mud sticks.

    The description is no reflection of the current president, and was the same under Obama.

    https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/1600/presidents/ulyssessgrant
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
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  3. thomas aagaard

    thomas aagaard 2nd Lieutenant

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    remove... stupid question. that is actually answered on the site, if I cared to read it...
     
  4. Canadian

    Canadian Corporal

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    I believe it was the same under Obama. I found an archived version and will look for it again. I don't know when these presidential biographies were written.
     
  5. Canadian

    Canadian Corporal

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    Not a stupid question at all. I've edited the original post to show that the archived version of Obama's White House was the same.
     
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  6. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger 2nd Lieutenant

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    I found this interesting to read, and was surprised that as the man who helped to win the Civil War, as well as a two term President, Grant was not spoken of more highly. There's no doubt he gave his all for his country. I will have to look at some of the other President's biographies to compare, but it seems disappointing at the least that Grant should be described without more honour.

    By the way, you might want to introduce yourself in the "meet and greet" section of the site, so others can welcome you properly. It's always good to meet new members. As for me, I appreciate you posting this interesting snippet which will no doubt lead to further insights.
     
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  7. huskerblitz

    huskerblitz Captain

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    I don't think Grant was qualified to be president. Just not enough of tje right experience for that type of position.
     
  8. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger 2nd Lieutenant

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    I would assume he accepted the position in good faith, and he must have been encouraged to run for the role. This makes me wonder what else was going on in the background to make Grant or others think he was suited to the role. Was it just on the back of the outcome of the Civil War? I'd imagine there was more to it than that, but I haven't studied him or his Presidency closely enough to know what the reasoning behind it was.
     
  9. Jimklag

    Jimklag Captain Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

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    No one is qualified to be president who has never been president before. None of the 13 men who have held the office in my lifetime was qualified before he was elected. That makes all elections not involving an incumbent a total crapshoot.
     
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  10. thomas aagaard

    thomas aagaard 2nd Lieutenant

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    Thanks.

    The page do tell us that:
    The Presidential biographies on WhiteHouse.gov are from “The Presidents of the United States of America,” by Frank Freidel and Hugh Sidey. Copyright 2006 by the White House Historical Association.

    That is why my question "is the page was political?", was a bit stupid. (since the answer was on the page)
     
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  11. Jimklag

    Jimklag Captain Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

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    Frank Freidel wrote an excellent multi-volume biography of FDR. He died in the early '90s I believe.
     
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  12. huskerblitz

    huskerblitz Captain

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    I don't agree with this at all. There are plenty of various avenues one can take to prep themselves to occupy the Executive Mansion. At least having some experience with the political structure of Washington would have helped. Grant pretty much struggled with everything in his life outside of his marriage. He was in no way qualified for the position he was elected to and frankly, it showed in his administration.
     
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  13. Jimklag

    Jimklag Captain Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

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    In 1868 no one in the United States was more familiar with the Washington political environment than U.S. Grant. If you don't believe my previous post, ask George H. W. Bush who had the greatest resume of anyone ever elected to the office. He confessed to being totally unprepared for the magnitude of the burdens of the presidency even after being in the White House nearly every day for eight years during the Reagan administration. Until you've done it, you can't know what it's like.
     
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  14. huskerblitz

    huskerblitz Captain

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    I get that...but that doesn't exempt one for their performance. You can also still prepare yourself for that office and still be unprepared. Grant was not even in the same ballpark as others. I also doubt he really knew the political underlinings of Washington. Not. Even. Close.

    I don't dislike Grant. But he honestly was not an adequate candidate. I'm sure he did the best he could, but he still gets graded on his performance.
     
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  15. Jimklag

    Jimklag Captain Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

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    You have no idea who was and was not an adequate candidate until after the fact. Period. A couple examples. Herbert Hoover was universally acclaimed by both parties to be an absolute genius politically and look how that turned out. Ronald Reagan was ridiculed as "that actor." He did OK. Abraham Lincoln was a one-term former congressman and country lawyer with exactly zero executive experience of any kind. Need I say more.
     
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  16. Jimklag

    Jimklag Captain Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

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    Grant dealt with the army bureaucracy, Lincoln, Johnson, Stanton, Seward, the Joint Committee On The Conduct Of The War, many Senators and Congressmen and Mary Todd Lincoln. Name for me the potential 1868 presidential candidate with greater knowledge of Washington politics than Grant.
     
  17. huskerblitz

    huskerblitz Captain

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    Considering we are evaluating him 140-some years afterward seems like fair game to me. He simply was not a good candidate for the office. Period. Reagan? Did you actually forget he served as governor of the state of California for 8 years before becoming president? That is just one way one can 'prepare' themselves for that office. And not everyone universally says he did a good job while in office.

    You're welcome to your opinion. I simply don't agree with it.
     
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  18. Drew

    Drew Captain

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    I'm going to have to agree with this. Our most successful presidents (defined by achieving their goals, not whether we agree with them) have been bulls in a china shop. Fancy pedigree is not a predictor of who is successful.
     
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  19. huskerblitz

    huskerblitz Captain

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    And he was a subordinate for several of them and he didn't even like politicians, one of his major issues with McClernand.
     
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  20. Jimklag

    Jimklag Captain Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

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    You are judging his prequalifications based on his end performance. Because you judge his presidency a failure, you declare he was not qualified in the first place. I say no one is. The man either grows into the job or he doesn't.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  21. huskerblitz

    huskerblitz Captain

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    The whole premise of the OP is in retrospect. It is perfectly acceptable to evaluate his preparedness.
     
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