James Buchanan was a man who stood over six feet tall and possessed a broad set of shoulders, with fair complexion and large blue eyes. He also had a massive forehead that receded to his silky gray hair. One of his most distinctive features was he had a wryneck. His head was habitually tilted to the left as a result of a particular eye disorder. As he grew older, he adopted his mannerism of cocking his head and closing one eye. His one eye was nearsighted, and the other was farsighted. He never wore glasses throughout his life and could cope up as he keeps on reading because of his career.
As he was a wealthy bachelor, he rebuked liquor merchants for delivering small bottles of champagne to the White House. He was a hard and severe drinker, and he even dropped by to Jacob Baer distillery to obtain ten-gallon casks of J.B. Whiskey. There is also speculation that he was the only homosexual occupant of the White House. James Buchanan and William Rufus King shared a boarding house for almost a decade and was even spotted in social events. Andrew Jackson referred to them as Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy as soft, effeminate, and eccentric. James Buchanan also adopted William Rufus King’s romantic view of Southern culture as he was from Alabama.
Many believed that he was incompetent and woefully overrated his place in the presidency. Historians rate his leadership as indecisive, passive, and made bad choices during the time of crisis. Former president James K. Polk ridiculed him for being a man without judgment. James Buchanan assumed the presidency during the tension between the simmering pressures of slavery issues, which had long bedeviled the country, was about to explode. However, his failure to act in any meaningful way to prevent South Carolina from seceding, which they had been threatening to do for decades, set the Civil War stage to begin. He earned the nickname—”Do-Nothing” president as he was unable to prevent states from seceding.
James Buchanan possessed a personality who had difficulty managing his time and concentrating on immediate problems, which led to ignoring long-term systematic solutions. However, he had a lot of energy, so he gets straight to work and is willing to take risks to get the job done.
He was an excellent observer. James Buchanan noticed things that others overlooked, such as the Cuban expansion. As he took in and processed the information, he applied his sense of logic and look for practical and immediately applicable solutions. He often contradicts himself and was not firm on significant decisions as he tried his best to appease Southern states even if it greatly affected the whole country.
James Buchanan focuses on creating social harmony and relationships with others, especially the Democrats. It was also evident that he had a great need for social engagements. James Buchanan enjoyed being the center of attention while establishing a good rapport, although James Buchanan was uncomfortable sharing his opinions and judgments. Instead of rocking the boat, he concentrated on pleasing others to maintain their harmony and often overlook his needs to ensure others’ happiness; unfortunately, being a people pleaser is something he should not be as a president of the United States.
According to some accounts, he was a generous man who lends money to his friends who were in need and even gave funds to the poor. There is this one instance when he bought slaves in Washington and freed them in Pennsylvania. He tried to dodge the appearance of a conflict of interests; that is why he refused offers of free transportation passes. He even financed his orphaned cousins, nieces, and nephews.
James Buchanan was inspired and motivated by actions from others. He dramatically appreciates strong leadership and admirable authority figures; however, he did not embody their characteristics and even lost his confidence to execute these actions himself.
It was evident that his instability compromised his presidency because of his loyalty to the south, which made him unprepared to lead the country during a turbulent time in American history. Historians believed that he was passive regarding the slavery issue and cannot resist the pressure brought upon his southern friends.
In conclusion, James Buchanan makes a lifestyle of risky behavior. He lived in the moment and dived into action without thinking things through, although, he had a unique skill in noticing small changes. James Buchanan was a man full of passion and energy, as a rational and often distracted mind complimented it. He was bold and direct as he tried to put things together in ways no one else would think. His most influential personality was his social skills, as he used this for networking opportunities and got gain endorsements and support. At the end of his term, his impatience pushed him into uncharted decisions without considering its long-term effect.