Apr 18, 2016
The search for the funniest president continues! Martin Van Buren took the rule book for American politics, set it on fire and wrote his own. He more or less invented the notion of professional political parties, then used his amazing creation to get Andrew Jackson elected president. When Jackson retired, MVB succeeded him in the White House.
But was he FUNNY? Journalist/historian/author James Bradley is a co-editor of Van Buren's papers -- he knows "Old Kinderhook" cold. We talk about the comedy Van Buren would have grown up with in his father's tavern and the ways he practiced humor to his political advantage. Most important, we talk about MVB's political revolution -- and the generations of presidential humor that became possible as a result.
MUSIC: Hail Columbia, "Martin on Every Block" by Lionel Hampton and his Orchestra, "Ultrafox" by Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club Quintet