They blew it. The US Mint is dropping the $1 US Presidential coin. Well, not entirely. Those entities that sell them to collectors will receive some, but I can’t, in good conscience, BUY a $1 coin for $3 or more. Lost history, plus a chance to drop the dollar bill missed. Plus they ended the public run with an assassinated President, James Garfield, and dissed poor Chester A. Arthur, who would have been released this month. Hey, if you happen across any of them, post-Garfield, please let me know.
***
I was looking at the 2012 Republican field for President and realized that I should be supporting Ron Paul! I jest about that, but if Ron Paul were somehow elected, he would have a quality that no other U.S. President has had: he would be born in the 1930s; his birth was in 1935. We’ve never had ANY President born in the 1930s, OR the 1950s, for that matter. Barack Obama was born in 1961, both Bush II and Clinton in 1946, both GHW Bush and Carter in 1924, and Reagan, Ford, Nixon and Kennedy all in the 1910s.

Looking at the potential field, some of which never got traction, and others who dropped out, we have, besides Paul:

Newt Gingrich, Buddy Rohmer 1943
Herman Cain 1945
Willard “Mitt” Romney 1947
Rick Perry 1950
Gary Johnson 1953
Michele Bachmann 1956
Rick Santorum 1958
Jon Huntsman 1960

We may have other opportunities to select a President born in the fifties, but Paul will certainly be our last chance to pick a Depression baby.
***
Lists of best and worst Presidents tend to engender partisan debates. Here, then, is Salon’s Who’s the worst president of them all? It’s really difficult not to have Buchanan in the bottom three, at least.
***
Richard Nixon’s Watergate grand jury testimony. Watergate was a pivotal moment in both my life and the country’s.
***
A little off topic: This year is the 100th anniversary of “Melody in A Major” by Chicago banker Charles G. Dawes, later Vice-President under Calvin Coolidge. You might recognize the song, with lyrics added decades later, as It’s All In The Game.

8 Responses to “Presidents Day – coins and candidates”

  • Uthaclena says:

    Regarding NOT switching to Dollar coins: while this is really just a minor issue in many respects, I think that it reflects the national zeitgeist. The USA is unable to make a decision about ANY dang thing anymore, however practical, because it might offend someone’s poor sensibilities. It’s a paralytic malaise. Phase out inefficient incandescent lightbulbs? Insure access to contraceptives? Promote energy efficiency standards? No no no no; people are offended! The “free market” hasn’t spoken!
    I just got back from Mexico and met many international tourists, and the rest of the world is either laughing at us, or absolutely bewildered at how far we’ve fallen.

  • Scott says:

    I’m with you, Roger. I wish these, or just a singular design dollar coin, would have taken off. I enjoyed walking around Canada with only a few coins in my pocket that could equal double digit dollar worth.

  • I find this news quite sad. I thought only countries with rampant inflation use notes for small change. And it seemed a nice idea to have a coin for each of your presidents. It would have been a challenge to collect the set.

    Mind you, it seems the popularity of individual dollar coins depends on the popularity of that president. Do you think that Republicans are averse to spending Democrat dollars and vice versa?

  • Roger says:

    No, actually I think the marketing was non-existent. Plus Americans can be pretty pedestrian when it comes to dollar coins and the metric system.

  • CGHill says:

    I have been a big fan of the dollar coin: the vending machines at work like them, the toll roads around town encourage them, and they make a nice clink when dropped into a Salvation Army kettle.

  • Jaquandor says:

    All they have to do is say: “Here’s a dollar coin, and by the way, the dollar bill no longer exists.” As usual a sensible policy that other countries have adopted but we can’t go anywhere near, nope, not us!

  • Roger says:

    Jaquandor – we couldn’t do that. That would be taking away our “freedom.” I have no idea what that means in this context, but that’d be the argument, that we are turning into those socialist countries, such as Canada.

  • Your list of candidate’s birth dates, what a bunch of dipsticks! Next to that bunch Ron Paul almost looks like a human being, which I believe is the secret of his appeal. Plus your information that we’ve had no presidents born in the 1950s is fodder for my current theory that the Baby Boom generation is a failed generation.

    Bill Clinton and Dub Yuh Bush were born a month apart in the summer of 1946, so they are both just barely Baby Boomers. Current President Obama is a late Baby Boomer born in 1961. Three Baby Boomers in the White House is more than enough, I hope our next president is someone born after 1965.

    BTW, I’m surprised to learn that Gingrich is technically not a Baby Boomer. He sure acts like one.

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