I am a fan of the last former Massachusetts governor who lived in the White House, that being President Calvin Coolidge. He controlled spending, retired debt, cut taxes, and all sorts of other good things. As a result, the next book on my reading list is a collection of his speeches called Have Faith in Massachusetts, and I just finished his Autobiography. President Coolidge’s manner was often criticized, for some of the same reasons as Governor Romney’s is today. But I think he knew what he was doing.
For instance, here’s a passage from The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge that I wish Speaker Gingrich, he of the seemingly infinite self-regard, would read:
It is a great advantage to a President, and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know that he is not a great man. When a man begins to feel that he is the only one who can lead in this republic, he is guilty of treason to the spirit of our institutions.
Here’s one I wish President Obama, he of the endless stoking of class warfare and resentment, would read:
The words of the President have an enormous weight and ought not to be used indiscriminately.
It would be exceedingly easy to set the country all by the ears and foment hatreds and jealousies, which, by destroying faith and confidence, would help nobody and harm everybody. The end would be the destruction of all progress.
And one more, just for kicks:
While there are times when the people might enjoy the spectacular, in the end they will only be satisfied with accomplishments.
Here’s to President Coolidge, and here’s to another Massachusetts man who, in my humble opinion, abides by his old-fashioned, non-flashy, and eminently wise ideas.