Warren G. Harding is ranked among the ten most conservative Presidents of the
. He campaigned on the promise of "Less government in business and more business in government" and won the presidential election by a landslide. During his administration wartime controls were eliminated, taxes were slashed, a Federal budget system was established, a high protective tariff was restored, and tight limitations on immigration were imposed. United States
In spite of these conservative measures, President Harding has been consistently ranked by polls of historians and scholars as one of the worst Presidents. They judged him on his presidential record and his accomplishments in office; they also judged him on the corruption during his administration due to the Tea Pot Dome Scandal, "one of the most notorious government scandalsin United States history." President Harding was not part of the corruption, but members of his administration were involved in it. His administration was also damaged by a "short but severe depression" in 1921. This depression was short because conservative principles were followed and prosperity returned, bringing in the Roaring Twenties.
President Harding apparently was a true conservative as shown by the following quotes.
President Harding could have been describing our nation right now when he said, "
's present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration." America
This quote definitely shows the importance of choosing friends wisely: "I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies in a fight. But my friends, my goddamned friends, they're the ones who keep me walking the floor at nights!"
Here are some more quotes from President Harding showing his true conservative nature:
I can see why President Harding was ranked among the ten most conservative Presidents, but I can clearly see also that his ranking did not come from his leadership. He was apparently a poor leader who brought his "friends" into his administration but then failed to lead them properly. People lost faith in his administration because of the behavior of his "friends", not because of his own personal behavior. This is a good example of why leadership and conservative principles are important. Can we consider Warren G. Harding to be "great" in spite of his inability to control his "friends"?
More information on the life of President Warren G. Harding can be found here.