Section One

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July 16, 1956: “Ever Think Of Starting The Motor?”
Washington Post

In his book Special for Today (1958), Herblock commented on several of his drawings that depicted President Eisenhower “in various attitudes of inactivity where problems cried out for action.” Ike, wrote Herblock, not only “expressed his belief in the principle of separation of powers [but] too often separated himself from his own powers.” With Ike as president, Herblock thought, government’s job was to “secure domestic tranquilizers, provide a pretty common type of defense, and promote the general’s welfare.”

Herblock wanted his president to be someone of “plain talk and honest argument,” strenuously engaged in solving the nation’s problems. Even historians who now view Eisenhower as more active, involved, and purposeful than he was thought to be at the time, agree that he was often subtle and indirect and that his “hidden-hand” presidency had an agenda quite different from that of Herblock.