From a reader:
I’m surprised nobody has mentioned this yet, but there was another Republican President with a passion for data. It is my understanding that Richard Nixon was a great devourer of information in preparation for debates. Details, minutae, snippets, facts, everything. I don’t recall where I read it, but I read that Nixon advisors under Reagan were beside themselves because Reagan didn’t want all the details, he just nailed the broad strokes.
I can also recall another President who was touted for his private sector savvy. He was an engineer– he’d be calm, rational, intelligent! Instead, he was Jimmy Carter.
I’m not saying that Romney is another Nixon, or another Carter (I think Huckabee’s closing in on both of those positions, interestingly). It is my personal opinion that he’s the right’s John Kerry (Polished, well credentialed, history of taking politically expedient positions on issues, caters to the base when it matters electorally, etc). But if we’re looking for a president in the mold of Lincoln or Reagan, I’m with you. Thompson’s my guy.
Thompson isn’t actually my guy–he still has to prove he wants the presidency badly enough to work for it–but, yes, I’m plenty sympathetic.
And, from another reader, an observation that I find, simply, unanswerable:
Who says Abe was a good president?