Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Personal Asides: And the Trivia Winner Is…Now the Next Terry Trivia Question…What I Find Good About the “Sun-Times”


No One.

Terry Przybylski’s trivia question asked this: As the Republicans recently announced they will held their 2008 national convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, that state has gone longer than any other state without voting for a Republican for president. Who was the last Republican to carry it? No one got it right. Lovie’s Leather guessed Ronald Reagan in 1980. No, it was Richard M. Nixon in 1972 over George McGovern. On the second one, with JFK being the youngest elected president at 43 and Theodore Roosevelt the youngest president to be inaugurated at 42, who was the youngest Republican nominee for president? No one got it right: Thomas E. Dewey, 42 years old when he ran for president against Franklin Roosevelt in 1944.


This is a tricky one—but it’s very valid. Between Andrew Johnson’s presidency just following the Civil War and Lyndon B. Johnson’s election in 1964, no one was elected president from a southern state. However, there was one southerner president…a man born in one southern state and who lived for a time in another. Who was he? No search engines.

Good About the Sun-Times.

Jack Higgins cartoons (but I say that all the time)…Mary Laney’s columns which is about the only smidgeon of gentle conservatism left along with Betsy Hart on Sundays…Zay Smith’s column QT—liberal though it may be--which is noteworthy for its ingeniously apt comments on news stories, which I never miss and whose one-liners are devastatingly precious…I’m even getting to like some of the front-page graphics ala “Class vroom”…Sneed: who often has the inside…One who I think is the best legal correspondent around notwithstanding he’s not a lawyer: Abdon Pallasch…The sports pages but especially Jay Mariotti…Neil Steinberg’s jokes, especially the one about the astronaut on Mars…the editorials by Steve Huntley, some of which I dislike but all of which take a firm stance which editorials are supposed to do: no, “stay tuned” or “who knows?”

Now after all the hits I’ve given the “Sun-Times,” does this contradict the past? Not at all. Compare the earlier criticisms and you’ll see the pluses and minuses in one package.


  1. The radical who tried to make the world safe for democracy, Woodrow Wilson. The man who ran for reelection on the slogan "he kept us out of war" and then days after his second inauguration got us into the "Great War". The man who enabled Clemenceau and Lloyd George to write the disastrous Treaty of Versailles which led directly to WWII (and which the US Senate had the wisdom to reject.) The man who after two terms killed his own party and set up the opposing party to win the presidency for three terms.

    And the man whose foreign policy, Wilsonianism, is the model for our current president, with similar results.

    Born in Virginia, president of Princeton, Governor of New Jersey for less than two years before winning in 1912 due to the split between Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.

  2. Wilson's southern sympathies provide an often overlooked angle on this rather peculiar political specimen.

    When the movie "Birth of a Nation" (scandalously racist even by that time's standards) came out, Wilson attended a private viewing with his cabinet in the White House. At the end, Wilson is reported to have said, "It's like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all terribly true."

  3. Lovie's LeatherMarch 14, 2007 at 6:45 AM

    Tom, I thought I said it was Nixon '72 unless Reagan happened to win it in '80. But I thought it was Nixon... but I guess I could see how you would count that as a vote for Reagan. And the answer to this weeks question, I am going to have to also say Wilson.

  4. Sorry, Tom, I posted under the great piece on Curley Dirkson:

    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Was it Ike? I thought maybe he had been born in Texas.

    Naw, probably Abilene, Kansas