People blame a lot of things on the President, whoever he is. Generally the nation’s economy becomes the legacy of its Chief Executive for his time in office, and a war’s success or lack thereof is placed on the shoulders of the Commander-in-Chief.

Obama Inauguration IIJust take President Obama, why he’s been given credit for everything from terrorist attacks and foreign policy failures to Department of Justice and IRS scandals. But that’s just the one’s he’s directly involved in!

Time (and screen space) would fail to tell of earthquakes and tornadoes, hurricanes and nor’easters, a problem with the BMW 4-series, crashing Marco Rubio’s Senate website, the outbreak of swine flu, a decline of bipartisan spirit, a Soviet resurgence, and the Arab Spring.

There’s even a hashtag #ThanksObama that you can use to express the mess we’re all in because of him.

Not Just Obama

But Obama’s not the only president to receive harsh criticism. Just about any sitting president gets blamed for anything major that goes wrong during his term, even if it may be a ludicrous claim.

Let’s go back a few years ago to the first president of the new millennium, and all the trouble he caused. George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, took the blame for September 11, rolling electric grid blackouts, the 2001 flu vaccine shortage, an AIDS treatment crisis, Hurricane Katrina, and eventually spurring the economic crisis occurring for years after his turn to have an effect on such things.

Then Clinton was blamed for congressional gridlock at the end of his second term, and the standoff at Waco, TX at the beginning of his first. Reagan’s been blamed for sponsoring terrorism and worsening international trade deficits.

And these are just from presidencies in my own lifetime!

Which leads me to something I want to research. What have Americans, throughout our history, actually thought a sitting President of the United States is supposed to do? This might turn into a series someday…

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