What do Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt have in common? They all represented New York as their affiliation for the presidency of our great country.
Now don’t start bragging just because 14% of the men who have served as president have come from the Empire State. Actually, we are tied with Ohio. The Buckeye State, as it is known, has been represented by William Harrison, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, William McKinley, William Taft and Warren Harding.
Let me put this in perspective: How would you feel if the Cincinnati Reds beat the New York Yankees in this year’s World Series?
With this in mind, I have dismissed this upcoming election, which will either maintain Illinois status as having delivered three presidents—Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant and Barrack Obama—or will add a fifth to Massachusetts along with John Adams, John Quincy Adams (different Adams), Calvin Coolidge and John Kennedy.
Instead, I am going to start rallying the troops for 2016. As New Yorkers, and more specifically, East Enders, we are known to have great influence and power. So I think it is up to us to make sure that four years from now, we deliver a New York president and send Ohio back to the political minor league. In order to accomplish the goal, we can’t just leave it to those New Yorkers who reside outside of the Hamptons. They haven’t delivered a New York winner since Franklin Roosevelt.
And let’s not get all tied up in the politics or ideology of our candidate. The only thing that matters is that they represent New York and are electable.
In advance of the process, I have conducted a small informal poll outside of the Hampton Coffee Company and asked the respondents which East Ender they thought could carry the day in 2016. Several said Alec Baldwin, and he is certainly a handsome and viable candidate. One college-age man suggested hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, but I heard he is moving to Los Angeles, so that rules him out. Anderson Cooper was suggested, and his silver hair certainly makes him look distinguished. Billy Joel was offered, and it might be fun to see a president riding a motorcycle instead of riding in the presidential limousine. Someone suggested both Jay Z and Beyoncé. It would be a great package because they are both so well liked, but I am not sure which one should be president and which should be the first lady/husband. One person shouted, “Old Man McGumbus!” but he is too old and will probably be dead by then. A very sweet old lady, who was having a hard time remembering where she parked her car, indicated she thought the poet Walt Whitman should run in 2016, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her that he died in 1892.
So there you have it. We have some great East Enders to pick from. Forget the upcoming election and let’s focus on the one after that. To truly gain respect for the name “The Empire State” we must take the lead and add a seventh president to the list of those representing New York. Who is with me? Who will help me?