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Consider the achievements and qualities of Calvin Coolidge, the thirtieth President of the United States:
- A grass-roots organizer who rang doorbells and climbed the stairs of apartment buildings to talk to people.
- A driver of progressive reforms, including women's suffrage, minority rights and universal health care.
- A fiscal hawk who cut government spending, lowered taxes and created yearly budget surpluses.
- A leader who did not obstruct justice or claim Executive Privilege at the height of scandal.
- A media maestro who undersood and used new forms of communication to shape and share his message.
- A firm believer in the rule of law, constitutional government and the wisdom of the Founders.
- A servant who held more public offices than any other President, but who also disdained entourages and ceremonial displays.
- A man more concerned with genuineness and transparency of character than with his historical legacy.
Would such a President be relevant today?
Why Coolidge Matters is a collection of essays asserting Coolidge's lasting value for American life and poliitics. Whether it's Governor of Vermont James A. Douglas urging that "every one of us could use a little Coolidge now and again," former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis admitting it was a pleasant accident to discover "Silent Cal," Senator John F. Kerry arguing America needs a Calvin Coolidge today to restore faith in politics or Governor of Connecticut M. Jodi Rell speaking to the enduring traits of Coolidge's legacy, the 21 unique prespectives authored by political leaders, journalists, historians and prominent public voices in Why Coolidge Matters present the ideas and ideals of a man who is often dismissed, misquoted, stereotyped and under-appreciated.
Though Calvin Coolidge exercised the full power of the American Presidency, he always held close his small town roots, his concern for the common man and his compassion for those that were struggling. Americans of the day appreciated these ideals and praised him for it. In fact his first major obstacle as President, and one of the most challenging of his political career, was transforming the corrupt Harding White House into a place where America's business was carried out with propriety, integrity and due process.
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Representing the 4.8 million Notaries Public of the United States, the National Notary Association has published Why Coolidge Matters to honor our nation's only President to have been sworn into office by a Notary Public - his father, no less - at the family homestead in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, and whose commitment to service and integrity can guide us all.
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