Mitt Romney Richer Than Most Presidents
An AP story (“Romney would rank among richest presidents ever“) begins:
Just how rich is Mitt Romney? Add up the wealth of the last eight presidents, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. Then double that number. Now you’re in Romney territory.
Now, that’s pretty impressive. Neither Nixon nor Gerald Ford were particularly well off but the others were either millionaires before becoming president or, in the case of Bill Clinton, cashed in afterwards. The next sentence puts things in a different context:
He would be among the richest presidents in American history if elected — probably in the top four.
Only 43 men have been president. (Obama is the 44th, but we count Grover Cleveland, who served non-consecutive terms, twice.) So, the top four is just the top ten percent.
He couldn’t top George Washington who, with nearly 60,000 acres and more than 300 slaves, is considered the big daddy of presidential wealth. After that, it gets complicated, depending how you rate Thomas Jefferson’s plantation, Herbert Hoover’s millions from mining or John F. Kennedy’s share of the vast family fortune, as well as the finer points of factors like inflation adjustment.
So, two of the four presidents on Mount Rushmore were richer than Romney? And the richest is the most admired man in American history? Who just inherited and married into the money? Meanwhile, the other two on that monument were not particularly well off. Which tells me that the amount of money a candidate has has little bearing on what kind of president he’d make.
via Taegan Goddard