Author John Hodgman's Fake Presidential Trivia

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Author John Hodgman.

Author John Hodgman. Becky Lettenberger/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Becky Lettenberger/NPR
John Hodgman's book. i

John Hodgman's book, More Information Than You Require. hide caption

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John Hodgman's book.

John Hodgman's book, More Information Than You Require.

In a little more than a week, we should know who the 44th president of the United States will be.

It got us to thinking — what makes someone presidential? Is it experience, wisdom — or the ability to turn things invisible?

To find out, we took a walk to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery to look at historical presidential paintings, and we brought along our own tour guide: author John Hodgman.

You may recognize Hodgman from his appearances on The Daily Show, or as the star of the ubiquitous Apple computer commercials, where he portrays a well-meaning but helpless PC.

He is an expert on fake trivia, and during our time at the gallery, he misinformed us about George Washington, FDR and Howard Taft — and gave us an easy-to-understand and completely wrong explanation of the mysterious Electoral College.



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