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Half of Mount Rushmore Gone!

August 11, 2014

If all U.S. Presidents were selected by the national legislature instead of the Electoral College, who would be chosen and who would be ignored?  Under such a system George Washington would still have become President, but Abraham Lincoln would never have been considered.

Perhaps Henry Clay would have become President instead of John Quincy Adams or Andrew Jackson, but when Clay sought the votes of the American people, he lost three times.  Outsiders such as FDR, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton would probably be unknown, and their terms might have been filled by former Speakers of the House, but only one Speaker has ever been elected President: James Knox Polk.

From time to time Congress might see the need for a military man such as Grant or Eisenhower to fill the office, but would they have considered Generals William Henry Harrison or Zachary Taylor?

Also, since any vacancy could be filled by a vote in Congress, there would be no need for the office of Vice-President.  Former Congressman McKinley might still have become President, but after his assassination there would have been no Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt to succeed him.  Mount Rushmore would then be missing the likenesses of both the Great Emancipator and the Rough Rider.

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