When Calvin Coolidge decided to retire, he announced it with the terse message, “I do not choose to run for President in 1928.” He was on a fishing vacation at the time; Coolidge had spent much of his presidency fishing while things took care of themselves (or Andrew Mellon took care of them). So Pittsburgh cartoonist Cy Hungerford, whose seventy-year career included fifty years at the Post-Gazette, produced this cartoon, which conveys very well why a president might not want to run for reelection.

Our friend Father Pitt put some effort into restoring this image, which was found in a microfilm copy of the newspaper.


  1. RepubAnon says:

    The one that got away?

  2. John Salmon says:


    Compare and contrast Coolidge and the anti-Coolidge, Wilson, for needless wars entered into, respect for civil rights of whites and minorities, growth of an unaccountable administrative state, etc.

    Letting people run their own lives = letting things take care of themselves. Free society and all that.

    In 2023, we’re “enjoying” the culmination of Coolidge losing the battle among “opinion leaders”. The average American seems to opt for Cal, though, as virtually all institutions are justly reviled.

    • Dr. Boli says:

      Wilson was a complicated character. He kept us out of war, and he got us into war. He fought for freedom, and he jailed more dissidents than any president in American history. (You will find throughout history that the word “freedom” usually means the right of unhindered oppression.) He segregated the federal government and the national capital, and… one can’t think of a compensating virtue for that one. Wilson was an idealist who had a vision of a perfect world that was very sketchy, but he believed that the world should conform to that sketch and not include any of the messy details left out of the sketch. It was very frustrating to him that the world had more shading than a black-and-white line drawing. People who disagreed with him got very bad treatment if he thought he could win, and everything they wanted if he thought he couldn’t stand up against them.

      It’s a little hard to judge whether Coolidge was a complicated character, because Coolidge kept his character to himself. As Dr. Boli has mentioned, this is a habit he would earnestly recommend to our current politicians.

      He would also recommend fishing. Dr. Boli has never been fond of fishing himself, because once one has caught the fish, either one has to have the servants prepare it, which takes them away from their necessary duties, or one has to throw it back, which makes the whole activity a waste of time and bait. But he believes far more politicians should contract the habit of fishing. It eats up whole days at a time, and days when a politician is fishing are days when that politician is not making trouble for the rest of us.

      • RepubAnon says:

        I read once about a man who liked to fish, but didn’t like catching fish – so he simply didn’t put any bait on the hook.

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