Sorry, Pejman

Over at Pejman’s blog, he comments on a post by Virginia Postrel that describes the qualities of a successful presidential candidate.

Pejman Yousefzadeh overlooks the fact that most Presidents have had easily-pronounced last names. Odd, when you think about how we come from a number of European and non-European backgrounds, that we’ve never had a -ski president or anything really beyond three syllables except for that one popular former general.

Here’s how the names stack up:

1 Syllable
2 Syllables
3 Syllables
4 Syllables
Polk
Pierce
Grant
Hayes
Taft
Ford
Bush
Bush

Adams
Monroe
Adams
Jackson
Tyler
Taylor
Fillmore
Lincoln
Johnson
Garfield
Arthur
Cleveland
Wilson
Harding
Coolidge
Hoover
Truman
Johnson
Nixon
Carter
Reagan
Clinton

Washington
Jefferson
Madison
Van Buren
Harrison
Buchanon
Harrison
McKinley
Roosevelt
Roosevelt
Kennedy

Eisenhower

If you look to the last names of the last challengers, they fall to the two syllables or less category (even including the Libertarians and United We Stand guys). Okay, Badnarik is an exception, but he’s so a footnote that he won’t even be a trivia question.

My point? I guess that I could write a paper on this, or that we don’t elect Presidents whose names cannot be pronounced easily in most parts of the country.

So add a fourth qualification, and Pejman doesn’t qualify. Heck, I don’t qualify (it’s NAH-gul, not NO-gull. I am from up north, for crying out loud–is some nasalation of the oh sound too much to ask?)