This put me in mind of the truly extraordinary era I have been privileged to live. Born in 1945, I barely squeezed into the end of FDR's regime, thereby experiencing a president dying in office. When I was a little older I and my peers endured the insufferable agony of having John F. Kennedy taken away from us with an assassin's bullet.
A side note here: while I liked him then, I do believe JFK was mortal and he would have added the mismanagement of Viet Nam and other warts to his botching of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, etc. But I digress.
Soon after that, his successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson, ("LBJ" or "El B.J." as we called him) rolled over Goldwater and then opted out of his second term:
All us college kids -- both on the left and the right -- hated this guy and were happy to see him go. But, except for the fact that he ran the entire Viet Nam war by himself (and bragged about it), he knew his way around Washington and where the bodies were buried.
So chalk one up for a president giving up a second term when he was a shoo-in.
His successor, Dick Nixon just flat resigned in office. I won't bore you with the details; I am sure you all know this anyway. However, in hunting for the resignation speech on You Tube, I came across this interesting clip. It is the moments before Nixon gave that speech and it is surprising in how seemingly carefree and jovial he was:
From thence, it was pretty conventional until November 2000. That election took us almost a month of waiting before we knew who Clinton's successor would be. Boy was that a time -- and every time I htink about the 175 or so votes that gave us George W. Bush and what Al "ManBearPig" Gore has become, I just get down on my knees in thanks.
So, since 1945, the presidency has been a pretty turbulent affair: a death, an assassination, a foregone term, a resignation, an election controversy, and then this sorry piece of work in office now. I gotta tell you that I would not mind at all having the Chicago Jesus pull an "LBJ" or -- better yet -- a "Nixon".