Kennedy called us to him, the country and to each other.
LBJ gave us the sense that he was in charge, that he could pull on the puppet strings of power and give the country what was necessary and sufficient.
Nixon didn’t offer much, just contradictory competence and trickery.
Ford gave the appearance of supreme neutrality, neither helpful or hurtful.
Carter was above all a “good man,” in the moral meaning of that phrase.
Reagan was likewise a “good man,” but maybe only in the calm of his words and the charm of his personality — the last true actor of the 20th century.
Bush One was like a good father or uncle, polite and stately in his mien and character. The last true gentleman of the 20th century.
Clinton was all smiles and smirks, all-around, just one of the “good ole boys.”
Bush Two was like a good son or child, harmless, but also surprising at times.
Obama was probably the smartest of this group, but confronted with the worst from the nation’s past.
What to make of Trump?
Certainly not a leader, communicator, or unifier.
Possibly who we need most in the current time — antagonistic,speaker of hard truths, challenger of the status quo, in the vanguard of positive change.
Primarily, though, a man in need of 20 years of historical “hindsight” in order to be accurately judged.