Ever since President Obama appeared on the web comedy show Between Two Ferns, Very Serious People™ like Bill O’Reilly and Chris Matthews have invoked some truly serious questions: Would Abraham Lincoln have done the same thing? Would he be a Fox News pundit?
These are deeply important questions that have far-reaching consequences. And while answering them requires the insight of cable news blowhards, we went one step further anyway and sought out the opinion of ourselves on whether these presidents from the great days of yore would appear on certain cable news networks.
Cable news producers, feel free to book us as Very Serious People™ with Very Serious Opinions™ on this topic:
Wilson’s penchant for remaking the world in America’s image at gunpoint would make him the perfect cable news pundit today. He could go on all the serious shows and spout off about the need for American military strength in this or that foreign policy situation.
After failing upward from a job as the resident war-hawk at Fox News, Wilson would probably land a gig as a Very Serious Person™ on ABC’s This Week, as well as regular appearances on Morning Joe.
William Henry Harrison
Harrison was no fiery blowhard, but he sure loved to talk: His inaugural speech lasted 105 minutes, the longest in American history. If we were to resurrect him today (a truly realistic proposition), where would he appear?
Given his extensive background as a military hero, and his penchant for speaking a lot, we’d venture to guess he’d co-host a panel show on CNN. Let’s go with: Tippecanoe and Toobin Too, featuring Jeffrey Toobin.
It would be only thirty minutes long because, well… you know.
By most accounts, Cleveland’s presidency was the closest we’ve ever come to having a libertarian in office. Of course, there are a lot of caveats to that statement, but we’ll speculate anyway:
In keeping with Cleveland having served a second presidential term after being out of office for four years, we say he’d co-host a resurrected version of FBN’s Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano.
Rutherford B. Hayes
No one really remembers Rutherford B. Hayes‘ presidency, but he’s got the type of name that, in today’s world, screams “authoritative.” Given his reputation as a well-mannered, thoughtful speaker, we imagine he’d serve as an all-purpose pundit on cable news.
But eventually a pundit has to find a home. Consider this: He was once described as “a relaxed, easy-going fellow, a good conversationalist, and a keen observer of human nature.” With that, we are absolutely certain he’d host an MSNBC weekend roundtable show with Chris Hayes, called Hayes on Hayes.
We don’t remember much about Fillmore’s presidency (except for the Kansas-Nebraska Act), but we do know his name inspired a comic strip about an anthropomorphic duck. So there’s that.
But more importantly, just look at him. He looked like Alec Baldwin. And for that fact alone, we say he’d host a late night show on either MSNBC or CNN: Up Late with Millard Fillmore. We are also certain it wouldn’t last very long, but not for the same reasons as Baldwin. Fillmore, you see, was known for a stolid style of speaking: slow, deliberate, unemotional. Cable audiences would tune out.
Warren G. Harding
Why, CNBC, of course!
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