#1244 A Free Nation

#1244 A Free Nation

"The Founding Fathers intended a free nation in which you could choose your religion."

— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson

After a short discussion about weather, President Jefferson addresses a question about his ownership of a copy of the Quran. Jefferson goes on to explain his views on the importance of religious freedom. In the out-of-character portion of the show, Clay and David are joined by Brad Crisler.

#1243 Mister President

#1243 Mister President

"Really? You don't think Jefferson has a geopolitical plan here?"

— Clay S. Jenkinson

This week, we return to the Jefferson 101 series and discuss Jefferson’s first term as President. In particular, we discuss the Barbary pirates, the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis & Clark expedition.

#1242 Inside the White House

#1242 Inside the White House

"You can object to anybody's politics, but I firmly believe that you can't object to President Obama's character."

— Beau Wright

President Thomas Jefferson speaks about the White House — during his time and ours — with this week's special guest, Beau Wright. Wright spent over five years serving in the White House, nearly two years of that time as Senior Deputy Director of White House Operations and Director for Finance.

Beau Wright is currently Director of Operations for United to Protect Democracy.

#1241 4th of July

#1241 4th of July

We speak with President Jefferson this week in our annual 4th of July Show. Jefferson shares his thoughts on why the holiday is so important to Americans and recalls how it was celebrated during his time. We also speak to Gaye Wilson, the Shannon Senior Historian at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies and Pat Brodowski, specialty gardener at Monticello who tell us about the celebrations being held at Monticello.

#1240 Becoming President

#1240 Becoming President

"I think that's what Jefferson's attitude was: 'I'd rather not, but I'm probably the best person to do it.'"

— Clay

We return to our Jefferson 101 series this week with an episode about Jefferson’s road to the White House. Over the past few months, we've carried Jefferson from his birth in Virginia in 1743 right up to the brink of the time when he became the third president of the United States. We take for granted how our elections work. Back then, they didn't really have a blueprint: no conventions, no caucuses, no primaries, no debates. It was an informal system and we try to sort out how a reluctant person like Jefferson winds up being the president.

#1239 Original Argument

#1239 Original Argument

"The question then became: Is a national bank constitutional? Did the Founding Fathers contemplate a national bank?"

— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson

This week, we discuss the argument between Alexander Hamilton and Jefferson over the creation of a national bank of the United States. Hamilton believed a central banking system was essential to America's standing in the world. Jefferson disagreed, arguing that to take a single step beyond the powers of the constitution is to enter a field of boundless abuse. We speak with Jefferson about President Washington's support of Hamilton’s plan, a decision with ramifications that affect Americans to this day. 

#1238 Presidential Decorum

#1238 Presidential Decorum

"I never like to be rude, but sometimes one has to set the precedent for a society that will shock the world."

— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson

This week, we discuss diplomacy and presidential decorum. When the British Ambassador Anthony Merry came to the White House, Jefferson went out of his way to be rude: to make it clear that the Revolution was won by us, not them.