FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
As the candidates continue to battle it out on the campaign trail today – President's Day – they all have their eyes on the grand prize: becoming the 44th president of the United States.
With 70% of Americans saying this country is headed in the wrong direction, it's clear the country is hungry for a leader who will change course from the past eight years and get us back on track. Of course, while looking forward, sometimes people also look back – remembering the past as better, more prosperous or easier times.
A new Gallup poll asks people if they could bring back any U.S. president, living or dead, to be the next leader of this country who it would be. 23% of those surveyed said John F. Kennedy. 22% said Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton was next at 13%, followed by Abraham Lincoln at 10% and Franklin Roosevelt at 8%. The current president, George W. Bush, 1%. Less than a rave review.
The possibilities this time around are exciting if for no other reason than the possibility of electing the first woman or the first African-American president ever. But what if we could turn back the clock?
Here’s my question to you: If you could choose any former U.S president to lead this country now, who would it be and why?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Eisenhower. He had the experience of someone who actually was in a war, yet had the vision to warn about the corruption of a military industrial complex. Ike was a fairly non-partisan president and he would turn down the hateful politics that we suffer through these days.
Kennedy was a great orator but too inexperienced to be president. Witness the Bay of Pigs fiasco which nearly brought us to nuclear war. Roosevelt would be too big government for today. Bill Clinton had it about right.
I'd choose Harry Truman. He knew right from wrong, didn't split hairs. Although he was a man of faith, he didn't use it for his advantage. He made tough choices (the A-bomb in Japan) to cut down the length of the war and the number of U.S. combat deaths. If he made a mistake, he admitted it and then corrected it. He didn't hide behind "executive privilege" or put his know-nothing cronies in high positions.
Ted from Denver writes:
While I am a Democrat, I too would choose either of the top 2 from the poll (JFK and Reagan). The poll shows the popular desire to have a president who inspires us to be a better nation and instills the belief that it is possible regardless of ideology. Isn't that at the very heart of what it means to be a leader?
Duncan from Lexington, Kentucky writes:
I would go with Theodore Roosevelt. A staunch conservative, an environmentalist, and a proponent of speaking softly and carrying a big stick. Let's have a president willing to actually lead, like he did when taking the Rough Riders up San Juan hill.
How about George Washington? I think this country needs to look at its roots and reconnect with what started this great nation. No better than the original architects. Washington urged his countrymen against excessive party spirit and geographical distinctions. I think we need a reminder of both right now.