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These 6 Hilarious Doodles by Former Presidents Are What Politics Needs Right Now

The president’s pen signs bills into law, affirms declarations of war, and, on occasion, draws happy little fishies. Like anyone else subjected to long, boring meetings, the Big Boss doodles. Here, from the book 'Presidential Doodles' by historian David Greenberg, are six essential executive scribbles.

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february-2017-wk-presidential-doodles-01-trCourtesy Houghton Library, Harvard University

“Sister in Charge” by Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt, father of six, routinely drew “picture letters” for his kids when not busy running the country. In this 1904 dispatch, he depicts daughter Ethel dispensing “necessary discipline” to her youngest brothers, Archie and Quentin.

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february-2017-wk-presidential-doodles-02-frCourtesy Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

“Out Fishing” by Franklin Roosevelt

Franklin Roosevelt doodled what he loved, from ships to stamps to his own family tree. He drew this trio to cap a nine-day fishing cruise in the Gulf of Mexico in 1937.

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february-2017-wk-presidential-doodles-03-deCourtesy Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

“I am Ike” by Dwight Eisenhower

Dwight Eisenhower painted every week and doodled through countless meetings. This buff self-portrait adorns Ike’s notes about the 1954 coup in Guatemala.

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february-2017-wk-presidential-doodles-04-ljCourtesy Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum

“Untitled” by Lyndon Johnson

Lyndon Johnson apparently saw all White House letterhead as unfinished art. His address became the foundation of flags, pagodas, and three-faced thingamajigs, like this one. (Did you know these mind-blowing facts about the White House?)

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february-2017-wk-presidential-doodles-05-rnCourtesy Richard Nixon Presidential LIbrary and Museum

“The Square” by Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon admitted that during missile talks in 1972, he tried to deconstruct Brezhnev’s doodles for negotiating tips. Maybe that’s why Dick’s own art was so inscrutable. He called himself a “square doodler.”

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february-2017-wk-presidential-doodles-06-rrCourtesy Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

“Football Star” by Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan wrote fan mail to Charles Schulz and considered a cartooning career. This jock joins a page of portraits that includes a horse, a baby, and a gal resembling Nancy, who kept it framed on her desk. Here are more surprising talents of U.S. presidents.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest