How Washington Invented the Presidency

The Constitution provides a framework for the American presidency. When the founders wrote it, the concept of an elected chief executive did not exist anywhere on earth. That position was created in 1787. When George Washington was elected as our first President, he had to build the office from the ground up. What he created and how he did it is a remarkable story, as Harlow Giles Unger describes in his new book “Mr. President; George Washington and the Making of the Nation’s Highest Office.” Listen in as Bob and Harlow explore the presidency as imagined by the founders, as created by President Washington, and changed (for the better or for the worse) by presidents since the founding. What are the lessons to be learned by tracing the presidency from Washington to Obama?

JFK a Democrat? You’ve Gotta Be Kidding

In 1960, JFK was elected president as a (liberal?) Democrat, beating Nixon, a (conservative?) Republican. Today, JFK’s politics would classify as neocon Republican and Nixon would never win any Republican primary he might run in. In a few generations, the principles of both major parties have profoundly changed. What does that portend for the future of the parties today and for the politics of America in the next decade? Tomorrow, join Bob and his guest Ira Stoll, author of “JFK, Conservative,” for a fascinating look at JFK and post-WW II American politics. You’ll learn more about Kennedy than you could possibly imagine. He and Karl Rove might be soul mates! Bob and Ira will also discuss immigration – an issue of particular importance to all Americans. You’ll love the show. Be prepared to change your opinion of our 35th president, regardless of what it is now.