Presidential Knife Fight

Today in class I asked my professor who he thought would win in a fight: Theodore Roosevelt or Abraham Lincoln.

Somehow, the conversation turned into who would win in a battle royal knife fight. Everyone is put into a giant room and must fight to the death.

We quickly came to the consensus that Millard Fillmore would die first, mostly due to his name.

But after that it gets tricky. Would the Roosevelts and Bushes team up? Would someone quickly get Taft then hid behind him? Will anyone be able to fight or will they all die of heart attack and shock the moment they see Obama?

If there is a fight I think Jackson would do very well. That man loved to fight.

Harry Truman would end this melee lickety split.

I’m certain Nixon would fight dirty, but his age would hold him back.

Washington would do well, as would Lincoln, Jackson, and Teddy Roosevelt. Gerald Ford might be a darkhorse contender, he played center and linebacker at Michigan…

Lincoln? He seems a little out of place with the others, seeing as how he doesn’t have formal military or athletic training. Does he just take advantage of height, or is there some aspect of his life I’m not thinking of right now?

Maybe you missed this recent documentary.

In all seriousness, I seem to remember that Lincoln was quite a wrestler in his youth.

Are we talking about during their terms as presidents, or as young men? Young Andrew Jackson was one mean son of a bitch, and the only President I know of who killed a man face-to-face.

But Jackson was 61 when he was inaugurated and had slowed down considerably. For an incumbent, I think it would come down to a duel between Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy (even in his back brace.)

First one out? FDR, unfortunately. You don’t bring a wheelchair to a knife fight.

Teddy is a major contender for winning this, just for the sheer balls it takes to take a bullet to the chest then get up on stage and give a 90-minute speech while bleeding. He figured since he wasn’t coughing up blood it wasn’t in the lung.

Taft could have thrown his weight around.

The parameters of this ‘Skald the Rhymer’-like confrontation are ill-defined.
Assuming each contender is in the prime of his physical life, then I believe it would come down to Andrew Jackson and Theodore Roosevelt.

Simultaneous kill, each vowing to see the other in the nether realms.

Yes, he beat the New Salem neighborhood champ Jack Armstrong in a famous match in 1832. They became good friends afterward.

Lincoln was also quite physically powerful. He could hold a heavy axe at arm’s length without his arm trembling. He used to show that off often.

He would also do stunts requiring stamina like hay racking to impress farmers for votes during campaigns.

I think you have to assume they’re in the best shape of their presidential years. That’s usually past the prime of life. Teddy would be an exception as a young healthy president. I agree that in the ultimate showdown Old Hickory will be in the final round, but I’m not sure Teddy would have been the most prudent fighter. I can see him taking victories in the early rounds, but at the cost of too many injuries to make it through the final.

I’m going with Washington.

  1. He had military experience from the 18th century. He’s used to violence and has some experience with a sword.
  2. He’s a big athletic guy. (Washington was 6’2".)
  3. He’s Washington, which gives him an advantage in any alliance formations. All of the other presidents know him and respect him.

Jackson, badass motherfucker.

Washington, pfft. His best military ability was his ability retreat.
Grant, if he is drunk, which he probably would be.
How would FDR, in his wheelchair, help Teddy? Human shield?

Darkhorse? Jimmy Carter He did shoot a rattle snake that was near Rosalyn’s feet once.

A lot of people aren’t aware that Lincoln fought a duel, of sorts. He got into an argument with a guy named James Shields. As Shields challenged Lincoln, Abe got to choose the weapon, and he chose swords. As they got ready to fight, Lincoln casually reached up and cut off a very high tree branch, intentionally showing off his far superior reach. Shields, not being a suicidal idiot, wisely decided to back down, and allowed friends to negotiate a truce so that they could all save face.

So yeah, Lincoln’s height and reach were a significant advantage.

Plus, as was already mentioned, Lincoln was a pretty good wrestler in his younger days.

And let us not forget that Lincoln swung a pretty mean axe in has vampire-hunting days.

Cromm! I didn’t know that.
OK, but I still think either TR or Jackson could have taken him.

Incidentally, GREAT thread topic. Thank you, OP!

Not to mention single-handedlythwarting an assassination attempt by a ferocious swamp rabbit. Carter gave him a vicious canoe-paddle-splashing the like of which has never been displayed by another world leader before or since.

Grant was notoriously squeamish and couldn’t stand the sight of blood. That’s something you can work around as a general but it’s a bad trait in a knife fighter.