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Warren Harding

Happy Presidents Day

Today is Presidents Day. In honor of Presidents Day, I have decided to take my old userpic of President Warren Harding out of mothballs.

Warren Harding was our 29th president. He is widely considered one of our worst. The chief reason for this is the Teapot Dome scandal, which got its name from the Teapot Dome oil fields in Wyoming. Harding's Interior Secretary Albert Fall received bribes in exchange for leases to the reserves there. The scandal got renewed attention last year when the film There Will Be Blood reintroduced the phrase "I drink your milkshake." This line was taken from Secretary Fall's testimony in the Teapot Dome congressional hearings.

Harding is remembered mostly for scandals and for his use of the word "normalcy", which is not really a word. He was also said to spend too much time playing poker and chasing women.

He had faults and deserves some dings to his reputation for these faults. But there are points in his favor these faults have completely eclipsed, and this is unfair.

The first point in his favor is his economic policy. Harding inherited a very severe recession and , unlike our current and previous President, resisted the temptation to spend money or inflate credit to get us out of it. He cut taxes and government debt, and the result was a thriving economy.

Another noteworthy achievement of Harding was to release Socialist leader Eugene V. Debs from prison. Debs had been imprisoned by Woodrow Wilson for inciting people to evade the draft. Harding freed him on Christmas Day 1921, saying "I want him to eat Christmas dinner with his wife". That remark should be on a short list of famous presidential quotes, and it's a damned injustice that it's not.

Harding was too loyal to friends and too oblivious to what was going on around him. But on balance, he was not a bad president. Happy President's Day Mr. Harding.


Mr. Harding, from his picture, looks like a hard man. :D

I know nothing about him...I doubt he's even a famous President, because I've never heard of him before, but from what you said he doesn't sound too bad. Yeah, Obama should take a page out of his book. :)
I can see where you wouldn't have heard of him. He was president in the 1920's, and he didn't have any major
foreign policy issues that would put him in world history books.

He is mostly remembered here as a bad president. There is stuff in his administration that is hard to defend
(as I mentioned) but I think he gets a bum rap.
you're such a teacher :)