Opinion: It’s official -- Giuliani is toast

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Rudy Giuliani’s campaign for the presidential race is over. Simply close up shop now. Save all that money. The same goes for both Fred and Tommy Thompson, Mike Huckabee, Bill Richardson, Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo and Dennis Kucinich. To continue their expensive campaigns would be an unnecessary drama and simply futile, according to a little-noticed historical rule.

Their names are too long.

American voters, especially those in the last half-century, simply do not elect or allow men with more than seven letters in their names to be commander in chief. Think about it. Bush (4), Clinton (7), Bush (4), Reagan (6), Carter (6), Ford (4), Nixon (5), Johnson (7), Kennedy (7).

All the way back to Eisenhower in 1956, who at 10 letters ties Washington for longest presidential name. Okay, carried to its logical conclusion, this American preference for short names would appear to suggest that the next president is likely to be Chris Dodd or Ron Paul, which isn’t going to happen.

But the fact is 28 of our 43 presidents have had names with seven or fewer letters. There was a run...

of long-named presidents in the 19th century--Cleveland twice and Jefferson (9 each), Van Buren, two named Harrison, Fillmore, Buchanan, Garfield and McKinley, each with 8 letters. Later, the two Roosevelts had 9 letters each and Coolidge had 8.


But in among all those guys came Madison, Jackson, Lincoln, Johnson and Harding with 7, Monroe, Arthur, Taylor, Pierce, Wilson, Hoover and Truman with 6, two Adams, Tyler, Grant and Hayes with 5 and Polk and Taft with 4.

You might have thought that Eisenhower (10) should have lost to Stevenson (9) both times, but Eisenhower’s more popular name was Ike (3). In 1964 Johnson (7) vs. Goldwater (9) was an easy election call, as was 1968: Nixon (5) vs. Humphrey (8). And 1972: Nixon (5) vs. McGovern (8).

Ford (4) should have beaten Carter (6) in 1976, but Ford was also carrying the burden of a six-letter word -- pardon.

Bush (4) vs Dukakis (7) was not difficult to see coming, and in 1992 Bush (4) could have beaten Clinton (7) except for two five-letter words -- taxes and Perot. In 1996, Clinton (7) should have lost to Dole (4), but Dole was from Kansas and a crab.

Finally, the 2000 presidential race should have been a very close one between Bush (4) and Gore (4).

Oh, wait, it was.

--Andrew Malcolm