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Friday, February 10, 2012

February 10 Presidential Losers: John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams, 1828

In the rematch against Jackson, the Siamese Twin Party of the Democratic-Republicans finally split into the Democrats (Andrew Jackson) and the Republicans (John Quincy Adams). The odds against John Quincy were long from the start; he’d only gotten into the White House on the last go-round thanks to the support of Henry Clay, speaker of the House and fourth-place finisher in the race of 1824. Andrew Jackson was often underestimated by his opponents who thought his only significant accomplishment was killing some British in the Battle of New Orleans, but in fact, he also later killed a good number of Seminole Indians. Many important issues were raised during the campaign of pressing national interest. For example, it came to light that John Quincy Adams had used public funds to install gambling equipment in the White House, specifically a chess set and pool table, which caused many people to question the judgment of a man they had so admired. Andrew Jackson had troubles of his own. It turned out, his wife Rachel, whom he’d thought was divorced, was not really completely divorced, and so he’d had to remarry her. Also, Jackson had a habit of getting into duels, which made some people wonder if he was really the right timber for the presidency. Aaron Burr, the vice president under John Quincy’s dad, had been in a duel as well, but it wasn’t the same thing really. Dueling is like playing chess, it’s acceptable once in a while, but you don’t want to make a habit of it. The Republicans, with the razor-sharp wit that has been their signature ever since, called Jackson a “Jack-ass” (Get it? Jackson/Jack-ass? Ha-ha-ha! That just slays me!) and in the fullness of time, the jackass became the official symbol of the Democratic Party. (Take that, you liberals!) The Democrats, unable to come up with a riposte as devastatingly apt as jackass Jackson, just called John Quincy an ass. In the end though, there was no doubt whose ass got paddled.

The Results

Andrew Jackson: 178
John Quincy Adams: 83

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