Category Archives: president

1948: Political Polling’s Epic Fail

The Mother of All Missed Calls

It’s been a bungee jump of a year politically. Last spring the GOP seemed poised to ride a Red Tsunami in the upcoming midterm elections. Democrats rallied over the summer and appeared to have regained the momentum. This fall, however, there was a Republican resurgence with the prevailing winds now apparently blowing in its direction.

And political pollsters were right there every step of the way telling us how this seesaw campaign season was playing out. They’re so ubiquitous, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some new poll result.

Love them or hate them, they are impossible to ignore. Americans are addicted to soothsayers whose algorithms tell us with what vox the populi is about to speak. Continue reading

Young George and That Cherry Tree


Keeping all of February’s presidential birthdays straight is a big headache. Ronald Reagan was born on February 6. William Henry Harrison on the 9. Lincoln arrived on the 12th. And president Numero Uno, George Washington, was born February 22. Congress washed its hands of the mess by lumping them all together in the Presidents Day holiday.

Chances are you grew up hearing George Washington chopped down a cherry tree as a 6 year-old-boy. When his dad asked who was responsible, the future Father of Our Country ‘fessed up and said, “I cannot tell a lie, I did it with my little hatchet.” It’s a story that inspired countless generations of kids to always tell the truth.

Yet it never happened.

That’s right, the tale extolling the virtues of honesty is a lie. And get this—it was even spun by a man of the cloth! Here’s the story. Continue reading

Before Camp David, There Was Camp Hoover


President Trump loves hanging out at Mar-a-Lago, his luxury Florida estate. He’s less fond of Camp David, the chief executive’s official getaway in the Maryland mountains. He once described the presidential retreat as “interesting for about 30 minutes.”

Every president since FDR has spent time at Camp David. Yet 13 years before it was created another presidential property was built in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

This is the story of Camp Hoover. Continue reading