Rich Galen

  • Here’s another good reason to actually go to class when you’re in college: You can grow up to be a scholar.
  • For those who have closely followed my career you know that I lasted exactly one and one-half semesters at Marietta College, Marietta Ohio, 45750 before the black-robed and stone-hearted “committee on academic standing” realized I was more involved in the social aspects of college than the classroom part and invited me out.
  • Overcoming my sordid tale of 1960’s Kerouac-ian search-for-self, I came across the report of a group of Presidential scholars, meeting at the University of Lousiville, who have determined the ten biggest blunders in the history of the office.
  • Put these in the context of the current projectile-sweat coverage of Vice President Cheney’s hunting accident.
  • Numbers one and two on the Presidential blunder hit parade, according to these folks had to do with the Civil War.
  • Atop the list was President James Buchanan (no relation to Pat as far as we know) who failed to avert the Civil War. Right behind Jim at number two was, according to the Associated Press, “Andrew Johnson's decision just after the Civil War to side with Southern whites and oppose improvements in justice for Southern blacks beyond abolishing slavery.”
  • Lyndon Johnson got the bronze for “intensifying the Vietnam War” (which was the top mistake among non-scholars who were polled on this matter).
  • Among the public, Richard Nixon’s Watergate cover up was number two, but the scholars only put it at number five.
  • President George W. Bush’s War on Terrorism didn’t make the top ten list of Presidential blunders because (a) it is NOT a blunder and (b) if it is still going on, it doesn’t qualify as history.
  • What about Monica? Scholars rated it as number 10 in the most significant Presidential blunders because “it affected Clinton's presidency more than it did American history.”
  • The interesting thing isn’t that the Lewinsky scandal was at the bottom of the top-ten list, but that it made the list at all.
  • Memo to the Hillary-for-President Committee: Please prepare talking points on how to deal with the fact that, in the entire history of the United States of America, your husband’s use of the oval office as his personal No-Tell Motel ranked among the top ten mistakes Presidents have made.

  • Rich Galen

    Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at