Just a few odds and ends of political trivia that have been bouncing around in the back of my head recently…
- For 20 years, the United States had five consecutive presidents who were Navy men — four of whom served during the same war. (Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter)
- Recently, someone once again brought up the tired old “why aren’t the Bush twins serving in the military.” It got me thinking — when was the last time a sitting President had an immediate family member on active military service? It would be a hell of a big security issue, one would think, and the most recent example I can think of is during World War II, when President Roosevelt’s eldest son, James, served in the Marine Corps — retiring as a brigadier general and picking up the Silver Star and the Navy Cross along the way. (In the same war, his cousin, Theodore Roosevelt Jr., served as a Brigadier General in the Army and landed in Normandy on D-Day, dying of a heart attack in France barely a week later.)
- Massachusetts has the (I believe) unique distinction of having both its senators having killed people under what some consider questionable circumstances. Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge into the water and left a young woman to drown, not bothering to notify authorities about the accident for a full twelve hours (and after conferring with family and attorneys.) And John Kerry personally shot and killed at least one enemy combatant during the Viet Nam war in an action some have said was of questionable legality. (For the record, I have previously stated I think that Kerry’s actions were entirely appropriate and legal, and said so during the campaign. It’s his conduct after the war that I thought was illegal.)
Anyone else got any favorite political oddities? Please, we’ve all seen the Kennedy/Lincoln comparisons, so skip those.