03 March 2008
My First President
On March 4, 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States. Since he hung on to the job through the depression, through Pearl Harbor and World War II. Finally, even thought very ill was elected for the last time in 1943. As a result, Roosevelt was the President in 1944 when I was born. In all honesty, I didn't notice his death the following year, but I do remember when Truman won the election on his own in 1948 after filling out the remainder of Roosevelt's term. The Democratic reign came to an end in 1952 when everybody liked Ike.
Now the fact that the Democrats had managed to hang on to the White House for twenty years with only two Presidents rather upset the Republicans, so they pushed through an Amendment to the Constitution limiting the President to two terms, something they were only able to get around at a later by using the old system of electing relatives. The Democrats looked at this method and said, now that might be something we should try. Welcome to 2008.
The clip above is from "Yankee Doodle Dandy" with James Cagney recreating George M. Cohan as Franklin Roosevelt in "I'd Rather Be Right", a 1937 musical by one of the greatest teams ever to write music for the musical stage: Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart. Unlike many of their musicals, this bit of fluff produced only one standard: "Have You Met Miss Jones"
Now there was one other song in the show that has a certain poingnancy considering the current state of the economy that it was first sung more than 70 years ago: "We're Going To Balance The Budget". It's amazing how politicians used to promise the silliest things.