Here we go again. Sixty years ago, while Harry Truman was grappling with post-war problems at home and a Cold War overseas, the contrarian Senator William Fulbright — called by Truman “an over-educated Oxford SOB” — questioned the one-man presidency and suggested the country’s sole hope for survival lay in adopting the British parliamentary system.
Thirty years later the one-man presidency again came into question with Jimmy Carter in the Oval Office micromanaging both the Tehran hostage rescue mission and his staff’s use of the White House tennis courts.
Now it’s Barack Obama’s turn, weighed down as he is with the burden of getting Senate confirmation of the New START treaty on one hand, while writing children’s books with the other.
All of which leads this under-educated White House observer to think that while the modern presidency might be too much to handle for some incumbents, it isn’t for others.
Or am I simply being querulous in asking why Newsweek editors didn’t raise the same banal question when Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan were calling the shots in the Oval Office?