Regardless of recessions, inflations, interest rates, money markets, or exchange rates, one has only to unfold a U.S. dollar bill to be reminded of George Washington.   You might say the first President of the United States has stood by us through good times and bad.


The first George W,  is reputed to have been an honest man, even though the famed cherry tree story was discovered to be the creation of his biographer Mason Weems.  Weems, who was determined that the first President be remembered for his honesty and integrity as much as his extraordinary leadership and courage, wove the simple tale about honesty that even small children could remember.


How the first George W. was elected President of the United States differed greatly from today's elections.  I believe he would be perplexed at the convoluted rules and regulations of nominating committees, caucuses, primaries, dangling chads, delegates, super delegates, recounts, miscounts, no counts, and a few 'no accounts' thrown in for good measure.  Surely he would have difficulty wrapping his mind around the staggering costs.  And I can imagine how outraged he would be to discover the correlation between raising campaign money and staying in the race.


The election of 1789 had no popular vote.  The electoral college chose from a group of candidates and each college member cast two votes, with the candidate who received the most votes becoming President and the runner-up becoming Vice-President.  By this simple process, George Washington was unanimously elected first President of the United States, receiving all sixty-nine electoral votes, and John Adams came in second, thus becoming the first Vice-President.


And it worked.  They got two good ones.


Since that time, thousands of lawmakers and politicians must have worked overtime for presidential elections to have evolved from that simple process of 1789 to circus circa 2008.


I've been following presidential elections fairly closely most of my adult life but lately I've been struggling to keep up.  Somewhere between Florida with its long running history of botched elections and Michigan, I began to lose track. 


Floridian pal and author Tracey Henry, a master at blending sarcasm with humor, tells of a grave state of affairs in the Sunshine State.   "I've voted in every single election since I moved here in 2000, from President to dog catcher, and I think the only vote that was actually counted was when I mistakenly voted for Buchanan on my butterflaky ballot." 


After learning of Tracey's doomed votes and that Florida's State Legislature is Republican controlled, a bell went off.  Ding.  I think I finally have Florida figured out.   It's because there's something fishy in DENMARK!  And I just bet the first George W. would agree.


I still haven't unraveled all the hullabaloo over Michigan. 


It's too bad the first George W's carved wooden teeth were a myth also.  I think (so mad he would be) 'Spitting Splinters' would have made a great title for this column.

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