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Which President Would Win A Fight to the Death?

Knife fight! Andrew Jackson vs. Thomas Jefferson vs. Richard Nixon vs. ...?

by
Leslie Loftis

Bio

February 18, 2013 - 10:00 am

Which presidents were fighters? In which wars? Which presidents were delicate diplomats? Which presidents were both warriors and diplomats? What were their personalities, their philosophies? Alliances are allowed, so which ones would band together? Which ones would indulge a grudge? Against whom? The entries on Tyler and Polk alone have great research potential:

10) John Tyler – No one liked John Tyler, especially Team Jackson-Van Buren. Not only would he be hunted down, but he would have an unmemorable death unless Van Buren tries to go for style points. Five minutes into the scrap, people would ask each other, “Who was that again? Why is Jackson wearing his scalp as a beret?”

11) James Polk — I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. That man had some grit and gumption and more than his share ofcharacter. He said what he meant, and he did what he said. He will not be one of the early deaths, although I think the Top 10 escapes him for a simple lack of ambition. Promising to serve a single term and then following through on that promise? He doesn’t dream big enough to escape the knives of the Holy Trinity.

With vivid context like this, kids might actually remember Tyler and Polk, who are part of the Jackson to Roosevelt forgotten presidential chain because U.S. federalism had not yet been compromised and the U.S. had yet to be a world power, so the U.S. president was just a chief executive of a successful enterprise, a man of middling import. And that’s just the boring ones.

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In 1806, in a duel over an insult offered to his wife by a man named Dickinson, Andy Jackson took a bullet in the chest and still killed his man.

Perhaps another president, including Washington, GHW Bush, Teddy, Truman or any of the 19th century presidents that saw combat against Indians, Mexicans or in the Civil War may have killed men, but not in a situation where they knew that their man died, as in Jackson's case.

Grover Cleveland, while sherriff of Buffalo, NY, personally killed at least two convicted murderers, by hanging. Of course the men he executed were trussed up like turkeys and didn't have much fight in them, but it was a job he would not ask one of his subordinates to perform in his stead. Still, that is no recommendation for Grover should be go to close quarter battle with Old Hickory.

In short, while the personal valor of many of the presidents has been demonstrated to be a matter of earned pride, the only real killer in the bunch was Andrew Jackson, and I would bet on Andy for the win, with saber, pistol or knife.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama is the only one of them who would bring a knife to a gunfight.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm pretty sure Obama would send a surrogate to this little soiree'. So would Bill Clinton. Much too smart to expose themselves to that kind of plebian danger.

Watch Obama for the drone strike, though.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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