Feb 12 - 18, 2009 
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Art Schmart

Dead Presidents

By Erin Adair-Hodges with Jessica Cassyle Carr

It's not every year that Valentine's Day and Presidents Day are so deliriously close together, and it's a confluence that can't be ignored. After all, we have a new president in office who is objectively attractive, and it's only out of respect for Michelle that many women (and men) have kept discussion of President Obama's established hotness to a minimum.

But lest we start thinking Obama is our first hot president, let's turn to history, and specifically my new favorite book: 1955's Pictorial History of American Presidents, by John and Alice Durant. It's refreshing to read a presidential chronicle that doesn't talk about Watergate or Iran Contra or feature color photography. There are, however, some pretty dreamy charcoals and daguerreotypes of our past leaders as young men. Jessica Cassyle Carr agrees, and so we weigh in on American leaders' suitor suitability in the Alibi's first annual Presidents Day/Valentine's Day Special: Dead PresidentsDo, Date or Dump?

John Quincy Adams, Sixth President 1825-1829

Pros: World traveler, nonpartisan, anti-slavery, good swimmer, champion of education modernization, nice skin

Cons: Stubborn, workaholic, thin lips

Verdict: (EAH) Date. Adams the second was a principled, cultured man who, while not the most exciting leader we've had, would make a good boyfriend. A modern date would probably include sharing one beer while watching a documentary about child labor abuses. Sew your wild oats first.

(JCC) Date. Brilliant and hot in a Falco kind of way, Adams is the guy who would always tell you about interesting things, take you to exciting places and kiss you ever-so-tenderly while gently stroking your hair. With his proclivity for adventureliteral and mentala relationship with "Old Man Eloquent" would never be dull.

Andrew Jackson, Seventh President 1829-1837

Pros: Crazy exciting, street smart, in touch with the common man, great hair

Cons: Slave-owning, Native American-killing. That's really enough, isn't it?

Verdict: (EAH) Dump, clearly. Everything about him offends our modern sensibilities. But if you’re the kind of person who’s drawn to exactly the kind of person you should never be with, he would be a Do. He also looks like he could be in Franz Ferdinand. An evil version, but still.

(JCC) I agree: Dump. "Old Hickory" really had it tough during the Revolutionary War, and how he rose from orphan to war hero to president is impressive, but that doesn't come close to making up for the fact that he owned more than 100 slaves. Sure, he would fight for your honor, but he's a total sadist.

Rutherford B. Hayes, Nineteenth President 1877-1881

Pros: Dashing, brave, principled, teetotaler

Cons: Teetotaler

Verdict: (EAH) Dump. Not even a glass of wine, Ruthy? If I wanted to date a rich, overachieving Puritan-type, I'd go for Woodrow Wilson; am I right, ladies? So, it's not you, Rutherford: It's me.

(JCC) Do. He's Puritanical, which means repressed, which probably means kinky. We're talking pre-presidential, 1840s and 1850s Hayes, right? Because later he grew a foot-long beard, and I'll have nothing to do with that.

Theodore Roosevelt, Twenty-sixth President 1901-1909

Pros: Fearless, multifaceted, nice eyes, energetic, loves teddy bears

Cons: Won't talk about feelings, spotlight hog

Verdict: (EAH) Do, maybe date. Sky-diving, blowfish-eating, continent-hoppingyou won't be bored. But in the middle of all of it, you'll begin to wonder if he really knows you, inside. He might shoot a tiger for you, but will he TiVo Beaches and watch it with you when you've had a really bad day? Don't count on it.

(JCC) Dump. I'd be willing to guess Teddy's about unapologetic self-gratification. Furthermore, what's with all the macho, imperialist hobbies? Sort of like driving a monster truck by today's standards. Sure, maybe it would be fun to sit in his wood-hewn library, sniftering Cognac and listening to tales of Africa, but narcissists are ultimately boring.

 
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