Seminars at Steamboat: Richard Norton Smith

Aug 6, 2019

Author and presidential historian Richard Norton Smith speaks to the Steamboat Springs audience about what it means to be presidential in his talk "How Do You Get To Mt. Rushmore: Can Presidential Character Be Set In Stone?" 

Smith is a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his first book, "Thomas E. Dewey and His Times." He is also author of "An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover" and his most recent book, "The Colonel: The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick," which has been awarded the Goldsmith Prize by Harvard's John F. Kennedy School. This Seminar was recorded on August 5, 2019.

From the Steamboat Pilot & Today: Presidential historian makes the case for taking the long-term view of the presidency at Steamboat Seminars:

What makes a good president? What makes a bad one?

On Monday, presidential historian Richard Norton Smith pondered this question at a Seminars at Steamboat lecture.

Smith, the author of multiple presidential and presidential candidates' biographies, has served as director of several presidential libraries and worked in several roles within the national political scene.

 

"Five months from now, Iowa will begin the quadrangle process of choosing a president," Smith said, with the slight lilt of a New England accent. "What test will they apply? What standard should they have in mind? The constitution offers little guidance."

That 200-year-old document requires only that the president is at least 35 years old, a 14 year resident of the country and a natural-born citizen.

 

"No way does that organic charter preference educational background, communication skills, administrative or legislative experience, nor does it mention any personal traits, such as judgment, compassion or the all-purpose resume buster: works well with others."

Read the full story at the Steamboat Pilot & Today

Ryan Thompson produced this episode. Ryan also edited the podcast. Digital is managed by Ashley Jefcoat. Special thanks Jennie Lay, Joella West, Seminars at Steamboat's board and volunteers, the Steamboat Pilot & Today and the staff of the Strings Music Pavilion for their support. The intro music is "When I'm With You" by Scott Holmes.

Don't miss any of this year's speakers with the Seminars at Steamboat podcast, available on Google Play, iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes available every Tuesday during the seminars season.