This isn’t a “political” post. Read on.
Forty-two different men have served as president of the United States, although the official number of presidents is 43 because Grover Cleveland was elected to two non-consecutive terms, each of which is counted as a separate presidency. Herein, I present some important facts about those 42 men and their 43 presidencies, and about the implications of those facts for the outcome of election 2008.
No person whose last name begins with “O” has served as president. The last names of three presidents begin with “M” (Madison, Monroe, McKinley); the last name of one president begins with “Mc” (McKinley). Advantage: McCain
Only three presidents’ last names end in vowel sounds (Monroe, McKinley, Kennedy); all the rest end in consonant sounds. Advantage: McCain
No president’s last name ends with “a”; 15 presidents’ last names end with “n.” Advantage: McCain
The mean number of letters in the presidents’ last names is 6.67; the median number is 7. McCain (6) is closer to the norm than Obama (5). Advantage: McCain
Of the 43 presidencies, 38 have occurred by election. (The five presidents who didn’t serve elected terms of office were Tyler, Fillmore, A. Johnson, Arthur, and Ford.) There have been 37 elected successions (Washington didn’t succeed anyone). In two of those successions, the newly elected president was the same age as his predecessor was when the predecessor was elected; in 15 cases, the successor was younger than his predecessor was; in 20 cases, the successor was older than his predecessor was. It is, therefore, more usual than otherwise for a newly elected president to be older than his predecessor was upon election. Such would be the case if McCain (72 by the time of this year’s election) succeeds G.W. Bush (54 at the time of his election in 2000). Alternatively, Obama (47 by the time of this year’s election) would be younger than G.W. Bush was in 2000. Advantage: McCain
Mr. Cranky has the edge over Mr. Change.