George W. Bush
George W. Bush

Politics Gets Physical: 10 Down & Dirty Things You Didn't Know About Our Nation's Leaders

By Jason Knapfel

From Jackson’s drooling problem and Jefferson’s butt boils to Johnson’s, er, johnson, get the dirt on the physical and health issues that have plagued our nation’s presidents.

We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby   

The presidential race is heating up, and people are turning out in droves for many of the primaries. And while the candidates’ stances on the issues should matter most, oftentimes other circumstances can come into play for the nominees—like looks.

Now we have candidates who “look presidential”—which doesn’t include obesity, shortness, ugliness, or, for some odd reason, facial hair. Mitt Romney was the starchy Stepford candidate, but that ultimately didn’t help him prevail. Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee lost well over 100 pounds before he declared himself in the running. And wunderkind Barack Obama is slim and athletically built (he played basketball in his school years).   

Recent presidential history included athletic types like Gerald Ford, who was a star football player in college (but a clumsy president); Ronald Reagan a swimmer and swimming coach in school; and George W. Bush, well, a cheerleader.

The strapping virile male image hasn’t always been the case—just look at the portraits of past presidents. Taft was portly. Abraham Lincoln was tall, spindly, and homely.   

Like any other citizen, presidents have battled all kinds of health issues. But compared to what they had to deal with before the advent of modern medicine, today it’s a walk in the park.

U.S. Presidents have suffered from all kinds of physical deficiencies and travails throughout history. Here are 10 of the more interesting…

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Date: 31 Oct 2008 | Author: mesmerX | Category: News | Views: 2848

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