Monday, March 3, 2008

President n - Insider, Outsider, or Special Case?

If you don't know, I'm addicted to Presidential trivia, and therefore am very interested in this Presidential election, despite my protestations about the importance of local issues.

As of late, our Presidents have often been either former Senators (such as Lyndon Johnson) or former Governors (such as Jimmy Carter). In fact, you can make a clear distinction between "insider" and "outsider" Presidents - Johnson, the King of the Hill, and Carter, the man from Plains, being but two examples.

I was mulling over this as I drove home this evening, and I've even expressed the insider/outsider matrix in tweet form (with no explanation, but my Twitter followers probably just assumed that I was foaming at the mouth again. So, here's my tweet (designated by the bold italic print):

pardon me while i check a pattern. 44i 43o 42o 41i 40o 39o 38i 37i 36i 35i 34? 33i 32o 31i 30o.

Now that you've seen this tweet in context, you can probably figure out that the numbers refer to "president numbers" (using the well-established system where Grover Cleveland gets two numbers), and that the "i" and "o" refer to insider and outsider, respectively.

However, 140 characters does not do this subject justice. I don't know how far I'll get, but I'm going to start posting a little bit about the insider/outsider status of each of these presidents, including the one that hasn't even been sworn in yet. If I make it to Coolidge, great. If I don't, the world will live.

I especially want to delve into the question mark for President 35.

But to get there, we have to start with President 44...


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