« Who Decides Who Presides? | Main | A Zone of Twilight »

Monday, January 18, 2021

Monosyllabic presidents

Pattern for the day: The disaster that is the Trump presidency results not from Trump being everything Hamilton feared might find his way into the presidency. Rather, it results from Trump having one syllable in his last name.

Of 45 (as of Wednesday) people to hold the presidency, nine have had monosyllabic last names. Here is where they appear in the presidential rankings from C-Span (2017) and Sienna (2018).

Polk (14/12)

Pierce (41/40)

Grant (22/24) (perhaps with a bullet--his presidency is being reconsidered)

Hayes (32/33) (could see a drop following the new conversation around the racist bargain that made him President in 1877)

Taft (24/22)

Ford (25/27)

H.W. Bush (20/21)

W. Bush (33/33)

Trump (NA/42) (and his spot on the next survey should be obvious)

So three single-syllable Presidents are in the top half of each survey and none makes the top quartile. Meanwhile, two are among the five worst. In addition, seven served one term or less, five of those losing reelection bids.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on January 18, 2021 at 11:02 AM in Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink


My apologies for not making clear in the post that my suggestion that the number of syllables in his name explained his inadequacies as President was not to be taken seriously.

Posted by: How | Jan 19, 2021 5:37:23 AM

Come on Howard, really? Will you next ask us to consider numerology or the astrological sign, or the Myers-Briggs type for each president?
Trump is a woefully inadequate president due to his personality disorder. I'll stipulate that the dearth of nurturing during his early youth contributed to his personality. However, the fact that he did not, until now, have to deal with the consequences of his aberrant behavior only reinforced that behavior.

Posted by: Paul Sonnenfeld | Jan 19, 2021 12:14:05 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.