THE PRESIDENCY by HUGH SIDEY: Not Laws but Inspiration

When Dwight Eisenhower began to paint by the numbers, thousands of aging Americans who had harbored a secret conviction that they were latent Rembrandts set up easels and began to daub burnt umber and indigo onto keyed spaces of their canvas kits.

John Kennedy decided he would relieve the national melancholy precipitated by the Soviet Union's outrages in Berlin by suggesting Americans get in better shape by taking 50-mile hikes like Marine recruits. Leg cramps and heart seizures became epidemic as thousands of flabby citizens answered the call. Alarmed, Kennedy appealed for restraint.

Lyndon Johnson used to swear that when he caught...

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