Andy Ponders Presidential Names

Andy Rooney Wonders: What's In A Name?

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.

When you look at our political system and the way we do things in this country you have to wonder why we're doing as well as we are.

The smartest president we ever had was probably either Thomas Jefferson or Franklin D. Roosevelt. Jefferson was not only a good president, he was a real intellectual and while not everyone would agree that Roosevelt was a great president, he turned this country around when it badly needed to be turned. Both Roosevelt and Jefferson had names that sounded presidential, too. I like that.

This year we started the presidential process Thursday with what we call "the Iowa Caucus." The winners were named Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee.

Do you think the name "Barack Obama" compares to "Abraham Lincoln" or "Mike Huckabee" to "George Washington"? Maybe "Obama" is the new Washington, the new Lincoln.

The former mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, wants to be president of the country. Our nation's capital was named after our first president, George Washington. If Rudolph Giuliani had been our first president, do you think Washington would be called "Giuliani"? "Giuliani DC"?

If you were flying from New York to London, maybe you wouldn't go to Kennedy Airport anymore. Instead you'd fly from Mitt Romney International.

Tourists in the nation's capital wouldn't have a "Washington Monument," they'd go climb the "Huckabee Monument."

The names of our government leaders have always been important in this country. A lot of schools were named "Roosevelt." Both Lincoln and Washington have a lot of things named after them: streets, parks, even cars -- the Lincoln Continental for instance. How about a Biden Continental or Kucinich Navigator?

It would be nice to be so famous and popular that they named something after you but it'll never happen to me. There's something inconsequential about the name "Andy." Maybe my mother knew something. She always called me Andrew.
Written By Andy Rooney