The Anguish of Calvin Coolidge w/ David Priess

The President Calvin Coolidge most know in history is the man who put America’s business squarely with business and said very little. Less known is that Coolidge suffered a great tragedy while in the White House, and it may have affected what kind of President he was. or not.

We talk to David Priess. Chief Operating Officer of Lawfare Institute and co-host of The Chatter Podcast also the author of “How to Get Rid of a President,” which deals with issues of inability to serve. We discuss how people should view Coolidge’s time in office after the death of his son. Was it active, or deeply reduced by the tragedy?

David Priess’s book is available at

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Calvin Coolidge’s Not so Silent Electric Horse

On the program, David and I discuss Calvin Coolidge’s Electric Horse. It was actually one of the few mood changers available to the President. He loved horseback riding but couldn’t find time to do it. Enter John Kellogg’s (same guy as the cereal) gift and invention – the electric horse. Coolidge would ride it three times a day, varying between a trot and a gallop, which the machine could imitate.

From Mental Floss:

Coolidge apparently thought so, too. Though The New York Times mocked the device as “a hobby horse” in 1923, it cited friends who thought that the president’s strength and stamina as a leader were due “in large part to the attention he has given his electric horse.” From a canter to a gallop, Coolidge rode it three times a day.

The president’s personal physician told The Chicago Tribune that while “the horse is not much for looks,” it had some medical benefits. “It is great for the liver and fine for reducing flesh,” he declared. The story was apparently kept secret until Coolidge had to send for an electrician to repair his steed after it went berserk and bucked him from the saddle.