Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Chillin' With Bill Clinton

We heard that former President Bill Clinton was going to be in town to campaign for Hillary so we popped on over.

The massive gear on the wall hints that the rally was held at the District 9 Machinists Hall in Bridgeton, Missouri.

It really was a hoot listening to him speak, both because he's good at it and because it transported me back to when he was president. I was in high school when he left office. There was at least one "we miss you!" from the crowd.

It was funny because Mr. Clinton clearly enjoyed speaking to the room. I certainly and maybe even he forgot that he was there for Hillary when he was really laying it down. I felt like he probably spoke more about himself than he did her. There were some light dispersions cast on President Obama as well, which I hadn't expected. I wonder if Billary are still a bit sour about getting whipped 8 years ago.

After this speech and my peeks at Carter and Obama I have now personally seen 3 out of 5 living presidents. Not bad if I do say so myself.

I got lost in Wikipedia while researching for this blog post as I often do. Specifically I was reading about how to address former presidents. It says that calling anyone other than the current president "Mr. President" is improper. The rest of what I found is so interesting I'll just dump it all here:

"The 1787 Constitution of the United States did not specify the manner of address for the chief executive. When George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States on April 30, 1789, the administering of the oath of office ended with the proclamation: "Long live George Washington, President of the United States," No title other than the name of the office of the executive was officially used at the inauguration. The question of a presidential title was being debated in Congress at the time, having become official legislative business with Richard Henry Lee's motion of April 23, 1789. Lee's motion asked congress to consider "what titles it will be proper to annex to the offices of President and Vice President of the United States - if any other than those given in the Constitution." Vice President John Adams, in his role as President of the United States Senate organised of a Congressional committee. There Adams agitated for the adoption of the style of Highness (as well as the title of Protector of Their [the United States'] Liberties) for the President. Adams and Lee were among the most outspoken proponents of an exalted presidential title.

Others favored the variant of Electoral Highness or the lesser Excellency, the latter of which was vociferously opposed by Adams, who contended that it was far beneath the presidential dignity, as the executives of the states, some of which were also titled "President" (e.g. the President of Pennsylvania), at that time often enjoyed the style of Excellency; Adams said that the President "would be levelled with colonial governors or with functionaries from German princedoms" if he were to use the style of Excellency. Adams and Richard Henry Lee both feared that cabals of powerful senators would unduly influence a weak executive, and saw an exalted title as a way of strengthening the Presidency. On further consideration, Adams deemed even Highness insufficient and instead proposed that the Executive, both the President and the Vice President (i.e., himself), be styled Majesty, with only which the "great danger" of insufficient dignity being attached to the executive could be solved. Adams' efforts were met with widespread derision and perplexion; Thomas Jefferson called them "the most superlatively ridiculous thing I ever heard of", while Benjamin Franklin considered it "absolutely mad".

Washington consented to the demands of James Madison and the United States House of Representatives that the title be altered to "Mr. President.""

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