The Worst Presidential Nicknames
While reading Battle Cry of Freedom McPherson, at times, uses the nicknames of presidents. When I read a couple of these immediately a dim light bulb went off in my head and I thought “I should write a post about presidential nicknames”. Because I’m too lazy to do the research I am going to use this list from Wikipedia as my source, but because I am excited about the prospects of this post I have decided to turn it into a trilogy of posts (Huzzah!!). We have had 44 presidents so I figure I will keep the lists to 10 name plus some (dis)honorable mentions, which should pretty much take care of all the interesting ones. The rules for this exercise are fairly fluid but the main one is no president will be on two lists. If they have a good one and a bad one I will pick which ever I like the best or worst and go with that one. This list will be of worst presidential nicknames, with worst being defined in two ways. Either boring uninspiring names for boring uninspiring presidents or bad nicknames for presidents who should have fared better. Here now is my subjective list of the worst presidential nicknames:
10. Warren Gamaliel Harding
Nickname: “Wobbling Warren”
Not a name that helps inspire confidence.
9. John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Nicknames: “JFK”, “Jack”, and “The King of Camelot”
For all the bluster about the Kennedy years and how wonderful they were and how much JFK inspired the nation these are some pretty weak nicknames. And the whole Camelot meme is seriously worn out, especially as time drags on.
8. Andrew Johnson
Nickname: “The Tennessee Tailor”
Profession + State = boring and uninspiring. Johnson was the first President to be impeached. So hows about “Commander Impeach”.
7. Franklin Pierce
Nicknames: “The Fainting General”, “Young Hickory of the Granite Hills”, and “Handsome Frank”
There are many, many (you could say a plethora or myriad) attributes you would like your General or President to have. Fainting is not one of them. I see the situation playing out like this:
“General the enemy is coming.”
“OOOOH the enemy is coming!”
“General?!? General?!? Shit he fainted again. Sound the attack and carry the Generaless to her tent.”
Also I would say that “Handsome Frank” was probably a sarcastic nickname.
6. Thomas Woodrow Wilson
Nicknames: “The Phrasemaker” and “The Schoolmaster”
Although “The Phrasemaker is kind of cool in theory it is cumbersome and doesn’t really roll off the tongue. “The Schoolmaster”, on the other hand, is fucking awful and immediately conjures an image of a brutal English boys school dean paddling some mischievous child with NAMBLAesque glee. Aside from this he was an asshole who resegregated the government and his favorite movie was “Birth of a Nation”.
5. Barack Obama
Nicknames: “Barry” and “No Drama Obama”.
Both nicknames are lame and uninspiring. Neither are funny. Unfortunately, because of his demeanor and the fact that, for the most part, his life has been fairly average (read: he’s not fat and he hasn’t been in a war or anything exciting like that) he isn’t fertile ground for nicknames. What he should have done is created his own nickname. And really his best nickname might be him real name, Barack is pretty gangster. (I imagine him rolling out to the next State of the Union address with 2Pac blaring in throughout the Capitol. As he gets to the podium he goes “From now on I will be known as President Barack “The Rock” Obama. DO you bitches smell what The Barock is cooking?” Then he could look to the Left and put his hand to his ear. Then all the liberals could shout, “BETRAYAL!!!” and “BROKEN PROMISES!!!” Then he could look to the right, flip his wrist and put his hand to his right ear. Then all the conservatives would shout, “COMMUNISM!!!” and “SOCIALISM!!!” After which he’d jump off the top of the podium and deliver a scathing double choke slam to Senators Reid and McConnell and follow that up with a double people’s elbow simultaneously bursting their spleens.)
4. Benjamin Harrison
Nicknames: “Kid Gloves Harrison”, “The Human Iceberg”, and “The Front Porch Campaigner”.
Jesus so he’s lazy, cold and clammy, and he may have a thing for kids (actually he was sickly and wore gloves to protect himself–which admittedly is not much better). There’s not much else to say except how did this guy get elected when he barely left his house to campaign?
The campaign slogan literally writes itself: “Meh! Don’t touch me!”
3. Harry S. Truman
Nicknames: “Give ‘em Hell Harry”, “High-Tax Harry”, “Mister Missouri”, “The Senator from Pendergast”
Jesus Christ!!! The man dropped two fucking atomic bombs on Japan. These are the worst nicknames ever for the only person to authorize the atomic weapons to be used on an actual enemy. Oh yah and he fired one of the top generals in US History.
2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Nicknames: “FDR”, “That Man in the White House”, and “That Man”
This one is a close number 2 because really?!? that’s the best you can do for a president who was elected to 4 fucking terms. A guy who inspired a nation, dug us out of the Great Depression, and fucking laid the smack down on Hitler and Tojo? Oh yah and he was in a wheelchair (although this wasn’t widely known) so you his enemies could’ve went with the old standby “Wheels” or “The Price of Polio”.
1. George W. Bush
Nicknames: “Dubya” “Bush II” “Bush, Jr.”
The first two are your normal run of the mill nicknames. The reason this is numero uno is because of “Dubya”, which is the phonetic spelling of the hick backwoods pronunciation of “W”. It’s what you expect from some toothless, inbred southerners. He was pushed to the top over Truman and Roosevelt because not only did he have a terrible nickname but he was a terrible president.
Nicknames: “Ten-Cent Jimmie” and “Old Buck”
James Abram Garfield
Nickname: “Boatman Jim”
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr.
Nicknames: “Cool Cal”, “Cautious Cal”, “Silent Cal”, and “The Sphinx of the Potomac”
Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr.
Nicknames: “Jerry” and “Mr. Nice Guy”
William Howard Taft
Nicknames: “Old Lub”, “Big Chief”, and “Old Bill”
Nickname: “The American Louis Philippe”
George H. W. Bush
Nicknames: “Bush the Elder”, “41″, “Papa Bush”, and “Poppy”
Bush definitely deserved a better nickname. I mean he wasn’t a terrible president and he flew 58 combat missions in World War II, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross. That’s some serious shit.
Up next best presidential nicknames.