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The Presidents Club

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  • The Presidents Club

    The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity

    We recently listened to the audio version and I'll have to read it soon, again, especially before Nov. I'd recommend and encourage all here whom will be voting in November for the next POTUS to read this. The Office transforms the holder in ways they can't anticipate and there is a fraternity of past members to draw upon and make use of. Select excerpts;
    ...
    “Nixon to Clinton: "When seeking advice from people who are more experienced than you, tell them what you plan to do first, and then ask for their reaction. Don't ask for their advice, and then ignore it. That way you save on bruised feelings.”
    ― Nancy Gibbs, The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity
    ...
    “Eisenhower was the living symbol of what felt in 1969 like an easier age, when greatness was an American birthright, when the torrents of change had not yet crashed into every corner of the culture, when there was a majesty about the presidency that allowed Eisenhower to leave office as beloved, respected, and above all, trusted, as he had been when he assumed it.”
    ...
    “If the Presidents Club had a seal, around the ring would be three words: cooperation, competition, and consolation. On the one hand, the presidents have powerful motives—personal and patriotic—to help one another succeed and comfort one another when they fail. But at the same time they all compete for history’s blessing.”
    ....
    “Eisenhower had run the Army; he knew all the ways decision making can go off the rails, and insisted on collective debate precisely to prevent senior officials from freelancing, or putting their departmental interests first. For all the formal machinery, Eisenhower was very literally the commander in chief, making the key decisions himself and monitoring closely how they were carried out. Even years after D-Day, when critics needled him for not being on the front lines with the invading forces, he retorted, “I planned it and took responsibility for it. Did you want me to unload a truck?”
    ...
    “You know, when a president is about to leave office, most of the time most people are dying for him to go on and get out of there. But there are a few little rituals that have to be observed. One of them is that the president must host the incoming president in the White House, smile as if they love each other and give the American people the idea that democracy is peaceful and honourable and there will be a good transfer of power”
    ...
    “We want you to succeed," the younger Bush told Obama. "Whether we're Democrat or Republican, we all care deeply about this country...All of us who have served in this office understands that the office transcends the individual.”
    ...
    “Bill Clinton was lucky in many ways; but when it came to former presidents, he won the lottery. When he was elected president, he had five former commanders in chief at his disposal: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush, the most of any president in the twentieth century. Not all of them had been helpful to one another, in or out of office. But some combination of his charm, their needs, and the new global challenges of the post–Cold War age allowed Clinton to deploy nearly all to his advantage—especially, as it turned out, the Republicans.”
    ...
    “Eisenhower's military life taught him that talent was a necessary but not sufficient condition for success. The only way to guarantee smart decisions, Ike believed, was to bring all the responsible parties together and have them fight it out. "I do not believe in bringing them one at a time and therefore being more impressed by the most recent one you hear," he later said. "You must get courageous men, men of strong views and let them debate and argue with each other".”
    ...
    “The modern Presidents Club was founded by two men who by all rights should have loathed each other. There was Harry Truman, the humble haberdasher from Missouri, hurled into office in the spring of 1945, summoning to the White House Herbert Hoover, a failed Republican president who had left town thirteen years earlier as the most hated man in America, his motorcades pelted with rotten fruit. They were political enemies and temperamental opposites. Where Truman was authentic, amiable, if prone to eruptions of temper, Hoover could be cold, humorless, incapable of small talk but ferociously sure of the rightness of his cause.”
    ...
    “Nixon urged Clinton to maintain his relationship with Yeltsin but make contact with other democrats in Russia. He warned Clinton away from some ultranationalists and toward those interested in liberty and reform. He pressed Clinton to replace his ambassador in Kiev and concentrate future U.S. economic aid on Ukraine, where it would matter most.”
    ...
    “It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled,” he argued. “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again . . . who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
    ...
    https://www.goodreads.com/work/quote...ive-fraternity

    The book;
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...residents-club
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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