Two Presidents go in. One comes out.
It’s your chance to play Simon Cowell (or Randy Jackson, or whoever replaced Paula’s replacement) and judge the Presidential Talent Tournament! Which Presidents “got talent”? Which Presidents have the “X factor”? Which President is your “Idol”? The outcome depends on your votes! For the month of May, we have only two contenders, but both of them are heavyweights in their own right.
The first contender: Harry S. Truman, hailing from Lamar, Missouri. In spite of his weak eyesight, he was an avid reader—according to his memoirs, he had read every single book in the Independence Public Library by the age of 14, and was quite proud of it (we estimate that would have been around 1,750 books!) Truman’s other passion was music, and he demonstrated his commitment even as a child, waking up at 5:00 AM to practice the piano for two hours. Later in life, he often claimed that if he had been a better piano player, he never would have become President.
In the other corner is John F. Kennedy, a President of many talents. A reader like Truman, he also honed his writing skills and eventually won the Pulitzer Prize for his book Profiles in Courage. When he said that From Russia with Love was his favorite James Bond novel, Eon Productions made it the next Bond movie. JFK was a powerful swimmer, from the Harvard team to the White House pool. He became a WWII hero in the Solomon Islands—when his ship sank, he spent 30 hours bringing survivors to safety, then swam 4km to other islands to look for food and help. Kennedy was notoriously likable—it was after the Bay of Pigs catastrophe that he received his highest approval rating. “My God,” he said, “it’s as bad as Eisenhower. The worse I do the more popular I get.”
Fill out a bracket and follow along!