“His Rotundity, the vice president and the Duke of Braintree”

This nasty title (“John Adams” ep. 5), given to then vice-President John Adams, by the US Congress, shows that things have not changed much in US political life in 200 years.

They were mocking Adams because he sought a more resplendent title for the President, such as “His Highness, the President of the United States”. Clearly, what happened was much better: By making the country more exalted, being just plain President of the US means so much more than titles could ever hope to confer on a president of a lesser country.

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