T Nation

Top 5 Badass Presidents

  1. ""I have only two regrets: I didn't shoot Henry Clay and I didn't hang John C. Calhoun."
    ... Andrew Jackson
    1. "Jack could be shameless in his sexuality, simply pull girls' dresses up and so forth. He would corner them at White House dinner parties and ask them to step into the next room away from the noise, where they could hold a 'serious discussion.'"

   That quote comes from Kennedy's closest friend, Lem Billings.
  1. "The art of making love, muffled up in furs, in the open air, with the thermometer at Zero, is a Yankee invention."

           --- John Quincy Adams
  2. "I heard the bullets whistle and, believe me, there is something charming to the sound of bullets."

           --- George Washington


I think we already had a thread about this---who was the most hardass president, or some such. political party aside.

But I think I'm pretty partial to John Quincy Adams quote up there.



Jackson was fucking nuts.

BAMF right there. Just read up on him.


Jackson was definitely the hardest cat that's sat as President.


"Spread the wealth" - Obama


wasnt lincoln into wrestling and prize fights and such....oh yeah and despite battling terrible depression his whole life lead the country through the most trying time in it's history. pretty badass...


Where's Jimmy Carter????



Andrew Jackson, without a doubt wins the trophy for being the biggest badass president we ever had, that man took no shit. Imagine if he existed today, he would have nuked everyone who said anything even slightly offensive to him and the U.S. I always wondered if he talked like Clint Eastwood.

However, my personal favorite president is Theodore Roosevelt. The man was certainly a character. He would go hunt game, grab a horse and the Rough Riders to go beat up some Spaniards (ok this was before he was president obviously), box with John L. Sullivan (he was the Heavyweight boxing champion at the time), get into a judo match with a bear (ok this part is probably not true), have the Panama Canal built all in a days work. In my opinion, he was probably the last good president we had in this country.

So here's my top five.

  1. Andrew Jackson (old hickory) This pissed off looking dude has good reason to be pissed, he was against the national bank so they put him on the 20 dollar bill which probably pissed him off even more. Of course they waited till he was dead to do this, because the person responsible for this, would not be alive today. He also kicked as in the War of 1812, his conquest of Florida lead to the U.S aquiring it from Spain. Because his political opponents called him a jackass, he liked it and as it turned out it became the symbol for the democratic party.

  2. Theodore Roosevelt already mentioned above.

  3. George Washington how could you leave out the "father of our country" from the top 5. The man put up with a bunch of untrained farmers in some cold ass weather and ended up getting General Cornwalis to surrender, thus being very instrumental in securing our independence from Britain. Also, set the tone for the Presidency, which would have been good if his successors had been led by example.

  4. Abe Lincoln What can we say about ol' Abe? This guy was just a lawyer who never put on a military uniform, but with careful study, managed to defeat the confederacy and keep the nation as one and as a side bonus, abolished slavery.

  5. Dwight Eisenhower The five star generals war record during WWII speaks for itself. He also was there for the deeper times of the cold war, and under the Eisenhower doctrine, is the one who threatened the use of force for any country that was practicing communism.

Honorable mentions
-Franklin Roosevelt (longest commander in chief ever during WW2 and great depression and did this all in a wheelchair)
-George H.W Bush (showed the world that the U.S could kick ass)
-George W. Bush (took no shit from anyone and stuttered all along the way,showed strength that Al Gore wouldn't have shown during 9/11, got us in two wars, and probably would have been more if he was able to get into a third term)
-Ulysses S. Grant (may not have been the greatest president by a long shot, but his record as general during the civil earns him an honorable mention.)
-Ronald Reagan (like him or hate him, he did boost the morale of our country when it was at it's lowest. for he took no shit either)

here are some T.R quotes:

"Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country."
-Theodore Roosevelt

"Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft."
-Theodore Roosevelt

"Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe."
-Theodore Roosevelt

"Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big."
-Theodore Roosevelt

"Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
-Theodore Roosevelt

"The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer."
-Theodore Roosevelt


Nixon, "I am not a crook."


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If badass means mental and physical toughness, Theodore Roosevelt is the number one presidential badass. If you don't think so, read "The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey" by Candice Millard.


Roosevelt? If you are judging on physical toughness Lincoln would have picked him up and twisted him in knots. Also Washington would have made short order of him as well. Both of these Presidents were very well accomplished wrestlers and physically much larger than little Teddy.

As far as bad ass I'd have to say that George Washington is at the top of the list. If the revolution had failed he would have been hanged as a traitor. How many other Presidents had to face that? In addition to this he was a General who led his troops in battle. Throw in the wrestling ability and he's at the top of the list, no question. No other President other than Lincoln (war, physical ability etc) comes close.


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â??adjective 1. strong and durable; not easily broken or cut.

"Not easily broken or cut." That describes Roosevelt to a t.

Physical toughness is not who can beat who in a fight -- at least not to me. Floyd Mayweather dominated Arturo Gatti, but I don't consider him as tough as Gatti.

Despite Roosevelt being the first American brown belt in judo and sparring with pro boxers at the White House, I agree that Lincoln would have kicked his ass in a fight. He was an exceptional wrestler and freakishly strong. But he probably wasn't as tough as Teddy. I haven't run across many people who were -- at least if the biographies are accurate.


And don't forget TR took a bullet from a would-be assassin during one of his speeches - and chose to finish his speech before getting medical attention.


I have always loved TR. The true hunter/preservationist with the appreciation for nature and a love of boxing. Can't knock that shit.


Wow man. That's ballsy.

I think the brown belt in judo would be a good foil for Lincoln's wrestling and lankiness. And being as I have no doubt that TR was a better boxer, I'd put my money on him I think.


You'd put your money on a man who was 5'8" and under 200lbs. against one who was 6'4" and over 200lbs? Even if the skills were equal Roosevelt would lose. You're a boxing guy you know what they say about a good big man vs a good small man.

Okay why am I posting right now?



Lincoln wasn't a boxing man though. I'm saying that TR's skills in Judo would negate Lincoln's wrestling, even though people do always say that Lincoln was very strong. So if you call that a wash, I'll take TR and his boxing skills over a lanky guy who never really did it.

Plus I think TR was just a tougher guy.


By the way, Andrew Jackson would kill both of them in seconds. I'm just making that clear.