President Ben Franklin


I think he would have to be 10, maybe 20 years younger at the time of the Revolution to be the first Pres after Washington.

Lets say he was (without major butterflies) and was.

What sort of President would he be? I think he might have made a major difference, particularly in the area of public vs private morals, as his approach here was both honest and straightforward but mainly, immensley practical as was everything else in his life..
There is a wonderful short story about this WI in the anthology Alternate Presidents. Actually, the Congress chooses him over Washington, since they want someone of international distinction. I think he would make a very good president, despite his age. His age is a sort of topic in the story, since Franklin keeps writing about various legislation before Congress and informing the general citizenry - much to the anger of John Adams. Adams fumes that at least they don't have to worry about Franklin being around much longer because of his old age, once he's gone Congress can get back to the job of governing.

Frankly, if having to choose between Washington and Franklin for first president of the United States, I would favour Franklin.