Spotlight Book of the Week-Mama's Boy Presidents
Mama's Boy Presidents: Why Do We Keep Electing Them?
by Stanford Erickson
Since John F. Kennedy, seven of the last nine presidents of the United States have been Mama's Boys. Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush can be characterized as Daddy's Boys. Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, all experienced a unique relationship with their mother that some psychologists refer to as Mama's Boys. During times of crisis, many of our greatest presidents have been balanced Mama's Boys and balanced Daddy's Boys. Yet we also have been led by unbalanced and conflicted Mama's Boys and Daddy's Boys. Their presidencies have been less successful than their balanced counterparts. Although Mama's Boys have been among our best presidents, they also have been among the most dictatorial. Their emphasis on a strong federal government, one that tends to mother us, is threatening to undermine what has made this nation extraordinary. The premise of this book is that the personality, character, policy inclinations, campaign and management styles, and worldview of a U.S. president is largely influenced by his being a Mama's Boy or Daddy's Boy. The book documents this in the lives of five Daddy's Boy presidents and six Mama's Boy presidents.