Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Presidents with Normal Personalities

Consider the 12 presidents since FDR.

Regardless of whether you agree with their policies, how many would you say had/have reasonably normal personalities?

My own count is six. [It is bi-partisan  and I'm keeping it secret.]

Harry Truman: 
Dwight Eisenhower: 
John F. Kennedy: 
Lyndon B. Johnson: 
Richard Nixon: 
Gerald Ford: 
Jimmy Carter: 
Ronald Reagan: 
George H. W. Bush:
Bill Clinton:
George W. Bush:
Barack Obama:


James said...

I say five:

GW Bush

I'm a Democrat, so clearly I don't think "normal" is the most important criterion in a president, but I feel confident about the list.

The non-normals, with a brief reason for each:

John F. Kennedy - Normal people don't live in Camelot
Lyndon Johnson - A political boss is by definition not normal
Richard Nixon - maybe our most deeply strange president. Paranoids aren't normal.
Jimmy Carter - You can view his altruism through many lenses, but I don't think it qualifies as normal in any of them.
George HW Bush - Maybe the hardest call, but he was too much of a lifetime insider and patrician to be described as normal.
Bill Clinton - extraordinary charisma, extraordinary appetites
Barack Obama - I don't mean this pejoratively, but he's also the first nerd president

Michael Wade said...


Very interesting. I bet Truman and Ford would make most lists.


Bob said...

Truman, Eisenhower and Ford. I agree with James on his reasoning for the others. Reagan was too extraordinary to be normal. GWB has the trappings of normal, but had a big ego and a personal aloofness that was at ods with his persona.

Michael Wade said...


You're a short-lister!

I lean more toward the James list but it is revealing how many all of us would exclude.