HOW SAYING “NO THANKS” KEPT HIM OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE
This week’s column begins with a confession. The name Levi P. Morton doesn’t leap to mind, even for certifiable history nuts like me. You’ll only recognize it if you’ve ever memorized all the vice presidents of the United States. (Don’t laugh; I met a woman in college who actually had to do that once. It remains the weirdest homework assignment I’ve ever heard of.)
Yes, Levi was vice president #22. And he very likely might have had the Big Job himself, if a single decision hadn’t denied him his one chance to live in the White House.
Here’s the story of how he made the wrong call. Continue reading
HOW FREE ALCOHOL MADE WASHINGTON A WINNER
There’s no escaping it. Before long, your TV screen will be dominated by commercials asking you to vote one way or the other. It’s how politicians win elections these days. All that airtime is extremely expensive, and a candidate better be prepared to shell out serious bucks if he’s serious about winning.
Nearly 261 years ago, a young candidate learned the hard way that going cheap doesn’t pay when seeking public office.
Long before he became the Father of Our Country, George Washington was burning with ambition. He had a lot going for him. Just 23, tall, strapping and handsome, he was fresh from service in the French and Indian War where he’d made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic. Clearly, George was going places. Continue reading