When I get that time machine, I'll buy George Washington a beer.
After reading Rupert Cornwell's excellent essay on him in part one of the Independent's 'The Lives of the Presidents' series, I have a lot of time for the Old Fox. It's hard not to like the Virginian. He was an Ordinary Man with extraordinary power. Though not the smartest or warmest President, nor the greatest strategist, he was substance over style. He may not have had the teeth to boast J.F.K. appeal, but Washington's stern demeanour - a symbol of his conviction - continues to capture the American consciousness today. He had the kind of charisma that can't be taught, and modesty uncommon to such an esteemed leader. "His election - "the event which I have long dreaded" - was less an opportunity for a self-aggrandizing fanfare than the price to be paid for greatness.
"Labour to keep alive in your breast that spark of celestial fire called conscience." A man after my own heart.