We’ve named Calvin Coolidge our Man of the Year!
I hear you, I hear you… there’s something odd about recognizing a man who died eight decades ago as the most influential person of year. And 2013 does, after all, still stretch out in front of us.
But we’re half joking. Time, unfortunately, is not. A partial list of those recently recognized as the newsweekly’s person of the year includes The Protester (2011), You (2006), and Mark Zuckerberg (2010). My favorite: In 1988, Time named Earth its “Planet of the Year.”
And in our defense, Silent Cal is coming into vogue, at least in conservative circles. Amity Shlaes’ new biography Coolidge sit in a comfortable spot on the New York Times‘ bestseller list and has reinvigorated the debate over the 30th president’s legacy, prompting newspaper editorialists to write headlines like “Calvin Coolidge wouldn’t shed tear over sequester.”
There is much that spendthrift modern politicians can learn from Coolidge, whom Shlaes refers to as “the great refrainer.”