A linguist comparing recent Obama speeches with Coolidge’s rhetoric today on NPR appears to think so. I’ll reserve judgment on this… but it seems to me that “rhetoric” is the key word here – where Coolidge was consistent in word and deed, Obama so far has been mostly talk and no action that would justify the label “pro-business”.
Interesting statistics from The American Presidency Project, via a concise article in reason, on the relative length of State of the Union messages. Perhaps surprisingly, among modern presidents, only Barack Obama and Bill Clinton exceed Calvin Coolidge in average “wordiness”. Another tidbit: William Howard Taft was not only the most obese, but also the most verbose of presidents, at least when taking the length of his SOTU address as a measure.
Gene Healy has an interesting column this week in the Washington Examiner, focusing on presidential abuse of the Executive Order (EO) pen. Apparently, Teddy Roosevelt was an early addict of that Constitution-bending tool, and Healy highlights several other egregious uses by presidents of both parties leading up to the present; he also speculates that president Obama may be tempted to use it more frequently given the makeup of the Congress following the midterm elections.
I assume that Calvin Coolidge also gave in to the temptation of bypassing Congress with one stroke of the pen, although I’d like to think he did so sparely and reluctantly. Perhaps one of my discerning readers knows more?
Hop on over to reason.com (and from there over to the DC Examiner), where the Cato Institute’s Gene Healy remarks on humility vs. hubris.