ABOUT ME

 

Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Political Science at Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the Georgetown University Law Center.

He is the author of three books: Essential American Government, Everything American Government, and President's Most Wanted. Nick is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business, the PIX11 Morning Show, and has a weekly appearance on the popular Raph Bailey Radio Show.  He co-anchored PIX11's five-hour live inauguration coverage with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Nick is a contributor to Donklephant.com, one of the most influential political blogs on the web, and  has written for US News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, Real Simple Magazine and RealSimple.com.  Nick has been quoted in over two dozen stories on politics, the presidency, and public relations.  In December of 2007, Nick was named one of PR Week's 40 under 40 to watch, and in May of 2008 was featured in "Profiles of Success", a book about public relations. Nick lives in Jersey City, NJ, with his wife and two children, and spends what little free time he has obsessing on the Mets.

Nick can also be found on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740817853


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« Video: ABC Network interview | Main
Tuesday
Feb192008

Interview with CitizenSugar.com

Mon, 02/18/2008 - 12:00pm by CitizenSugar [+] 119 Views
In honor of President's Day, here's an exclusive CitizenSugar interview with Nick Ragone, author of the book Presidents' Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Extraordinary Executives, Colorful Campaigns, and White House Oddities. I cannot tell a lie, I'm excited. Here we go!

I'm an admitted presidential trivia freak, as I'm sure you are. Hit me with a tidbit of trivia you uncovered while you were writing this book that surprised even you.
John Quincy Adams had a pet alligator in the White House. James Madison was the shortest president — 5'4". Woodrow Wilson's picture was on the $100,000 bill, which is no longer in circulation. Wilson also played 1,200 rounds of golf while in the White House — more than even Eisenhower.

If you could head back in history to grab one president and install him in the White House again come 2009, who would it be?

It goes without saying that Lincoln would be the first choice. But not far behind is Teddy Roosevelt — I think he'd be a great leader for these times. He was an activist president and reformer. I think the office can use his energy right now. And Harry Truman as well. He had a certain resolve that seems appropriate for our challenges.

Your book uncovers the biggest presidential blunders — what snafu really makes you cringe?

Andrew Johnson's approach to Reconstruction. He was much too lenient on the South, and probably set race relations back by 50 years. Just an awful, awful blunder.

I love your quote in Page Six, "I'd send a copy to Fred Thompson, but I think he's too lazy to read it." So you're not a recovering "Fred-Head?" Have you picked your candidate in this race? To find out who, read more.

I think all three remaining candidates — Hillary, Obama, and McCain — have their strengths, and all three would make good presidents. I do think that Obama has tapped into something that JFK and Ronald Reagan had — optimism and hope. It's very difficult to defeat the candidate of vision and hope.

How do you think the office of president has evolved over time? Is there one key difference in the way presidents are thought of (or behave) now, vs. presidents of yore?

The office has undergone a dramatic transformation. Nineteenth-century presidents, for the most part, were "caretakers," meaning Congress really drove domestic policy, and the president was mostly a secondary player (Jackson and Lincoln the notable exceptions).

Teddy Roosevelt's presidency marked the beginning of the "imperial" presidency, and FDR — with the New Deal — really solidified the presidency as the most powerful institution in the world. It seems like the office accrues more and more power every year.

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