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Executive Branch & Presidents Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Franklin Roosevelt made himself more accessible to the press than any other modern president; he held, on average, 83 press conferences annually. George W. Bush was the least accessible to the press. During his first term he held only sixteen press conferences—an average of four per year.20

Vice President John Nance Garner (1933-1937) offered the most biting criticisms of the vice presidency. He initially spurned the office, commenting: "I don't intend to spend the next four years counting the buttons on another man's coat tails." And after his election, he suggested at various times that the office was the "spare tire of the government," and that accepting the party's nomination was the "worst d--n-fool mistake" he ever made, adding that "there cannot be a great vice president." Most famously, he supposedly said that the office was "not worth a bucket of warm spit." His biographer, O.C. Fisher, has suggested that the comment was sanitized by reporters; most likely, Garner really likened the office to "a pitcher of warm piss." Or, as Garner more pointedly explained, "those pantywaist writers wouldn't print it the way I said it."21

Gerald Ford became president without winning a single vote outside his congressional district in Michigan. He was named vice president by President Richard Nixon when Vice President Spiro Agnew was forced to resign after being indicted for tax evasion. Nine months later, when President Nixon resigned amid the Watergate scandal, Ford ascended to the presidency.

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