As an American abroad, I wish my compatriots a happy Presidents' Day and would like to put in a special word for my favorite President, David Rice Atchison. Atchison, as President Pro Tem of the Senate, held the Presidency for a day, as President Polk had already left office and the President-elect, Zachary Taylor, refused to be sworn in on a Sunday. During the Atchison adminstration, the nation enjoyed peace and prosperity and, well in keeping with the spirit of Thoreau's dictum that "that government which governs best governs not at all", Atchison is reported to have largely spent his term sleeping. In Atchison's own words: "I went to bed. There had been two or three busy nights finishing up the work of the Senate, and I slept most of that Sunday."
So, from the depths of an anarchic heart, and in appreciation of his demonstration that a mighty nation can survive without a government, here's to you, David Rice Atkinson, the 12th, and possibly finest, President of the United States.
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