THE BLOG
04/24/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Presidential Narratives

Recently, pundits have attacked President Obama for losing track of his "presidential narrative," the story an administration tries to sell -- sorry, tell -- about itself. Perhaps he should take a page from the storybook of one of these presidents past:

* Before he had even been elected, Thomas Jefferson had staked his claim to a "pimps and harlots" themed presidency, one he kept flowing for a smooth eight years with frequent all-night cask-party ragers where gettin' freaky with the help was totally encouraged, bro!

Today, most historians agree that despite his intents, Jefferson's was a douche-themed presidency more than anything else.

* No one really remembers much about Franklin Pierce, probably because upon entering office, he decided to dedicate his term to "eminent domain in the realms of sudoku."

* In order to distinguish himself from his predecessor, Roosevelt (a president known for increasing American isolationism), William Howard Taft sought to define his presidency as one of "personal growth."

Most historians believe Taft quickly lost control of his presidential narrative, which was too bad, because "you can't make that sort of irony up." In the end, though, his was really more of a moustache and walrus-themed tenure.

* Popular myth holds that William Henry Harrison died 31 days after taking office from pneumonia, contracted during an overlong inauguration speech given in the rain.

In actuality his death, from a very different sort of infection, can be attributed directly to the theme he had planned for his term: fleet week all the time!

* Gerald Ford's successful attempts to appear as imbecilic as humanly possible completely obscured the fact that his was the only pro-abortion presidency on record.

No, not pro-choice, pro-abortion. Long story short, fetuses were how his High Chancellor of Pain and Ford of all Darkness sustained his power during his reign on earth.

* It's unclear exactly what Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidential theme was, but I'll tell you what it wasn't: killing hookers and burying them in the presidential garden. It was definitely not a dead-hooker themed presidency.

* General consensus is that Andrew Jackson's larger-than-life personality, his multiple duels, and the Peggy Eaton affair obscured the narrative that he had carefully worked out ever since his years as an attorney in Tennessee, and which most of his decisions, when viewed objectively, clearly worked to uphold: killing as many Indians as he possibly could.

* Both in terms of policy and personal narrative, Kennedy sought to define his presidency as one of "hot chicks and easily-mimicked accents." At the time, for him, this meant a remarkably racist, unnecessarily naked impression of Fidel Castro.

Contemporary White House reporters also liked to remember the Kennedy years as ones of extraordinarily lush growth in the presidential gardens. And the occasional tooth-finding, something they recall fondly as a proof of the charm of the Camelot years, when Jackie would occasionally be seen burying the children's lost teeth to maintain the guise of the tooth fairy.

Actually, they never saw her do it, but really, what other explanation could there be for all those teeth and occasional jawbones turning up?

Anyway, those kids must have had the Kennedy genes -- their baby teeth were just massive, comparatively speaking.

* Martin Van Buren's presidential moniker, "the little magician," is often thought to refer to the fact that he was able to craftily convince even his enemies to realize his policy ambitions.

Actually, he got the name because he loved to spend his spare time performing at children's parties, "waving his wand vigorously," something his press corps worked to cover up via very generous non-disclosure agreements. And ... poof! The allegations have disappeared! Magic indeed!