Former Fannie, Freddie CEOs face suit

Daniel Mudd (left) and Richard Syron

Editor's note: Ninth in a weekday series on the traits, tastes and backgrounds of presidential candidates.

WASHINGTON — The presidential candidates are wild about Harry. And Teddy. And Martin?

The Associated Press asked them to name their favorite 20th century president from the opposing party. Two presidents swept the standings — Theodore Roosevelt, the Republican who was the nation's 26th chief executive, 1901 to 1909; and Harry S. Truman, the Democrat who was the 33rd president, 1945-1953. The runner-up: a guy who played a president on TV.

Responses to the question, Who is your favorite 20th century president from the other party?


-- New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: "Teddy Roosevelt. He busted the trusts. He knew we couldn't have monopolies. He had an idea that I consider to be just as relevant today. That the welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us."

-- Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards: "Teddy Roosevelt, because he stood up for what I would describe as the little guy, stood up for the little guy with a lot courage against some very powerful opposition."

-- Illinois Sen. Barack Obama: "Teddy Roosevelt, because he challenged special interests to lead a progressive movement."

-- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: "Teddy Roosevelt, because I broke his handshaking record. I also admire him because he was a great conservationist." Richardson shook 13,392 hands in eight hours Sept. 14, 2002, while campaigning for governor, breaking Rooseveltˆ's record of handshakes by a politician. Roosevelt shook 8,513 hands while greeting guests at the White House on a day in 1907.


-- Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani: "Harry Truman"

-- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: "Harry Truman"

-- Arizona Sen. John McCain: Harry Truman, for standing his ground against public pressure to withdraw troops from Korea. "The history, I think, of the Cold War would have been very different if he had been swayed by public opinion."

-- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: Harry Truman. "I like the fact he was able to make tough decisions. He had some of the toughest decisions in the history of this country to make. I find a bit of a kindred spirit in one sense ˆ he was a deliberative, thoughtful, analytical president. ... And he did what he thought was right and he suffered the consequences of doing what he thought was right. But looking back, you say, this man was a great president. We were lucky to have had him in that office."

-- Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson: "Martin Sheen." The fellow actor played two Democratic presidents on TV, the fictional Josiah Bartlet in "The West Wing" and John Kennedy in a miniseries.


Associated Press Writer Ann Sanner contributed to this report.