In a Mass Knife Fight to the Death Between Every American President, Who Would Win and Why?

I saw this on reddit a while ago, and it seems like a perfect conversation piece for this site. So, gentlemen, which president is your money riding on?

The rules:

- Every president is in the best physical and mental condition they were ever in throughout the course of their presidency. Fatal maladies have been cured, but any lifelong conditions or chronic illnesses (e.g. FDR’s polio) remain.

- The presidents are fighting in an ovular arena 287 feet long and 180 feet wide (the dimensions of the [1] Roman Colosseum). The floor is concrete. Assume that weather is not a factor.

-Each president has been given one standard-issue [2] Gerber LHR Combat Knife , the knife [3] presented to each graduate of the United States Army Special Forces Qualification Course. Assume the presidents have no training outside any combat experiences they may have had in their own lives.

- There is no penalty for avoiding combat for an extended period of time. Hiding and/or playing dead could be valid strategies, but there can be only one winner. The melee will go on as long as it needs to.

- FDR has been outfitted with a [4] Bound Plus H-Frame Power Wheelchair, and can travel at a maximum speed of around 11.5 MPH. The wheelchair has been customized so that he is holding his knife with his dominant hand. This is to compensate for his almost certain and immediate defeat in the face of an overwhelming disadvantage.

- Each president will be deposited in the arena regardless of their own will to fight, however, personal ethics, leadership ability, tactical expertise etc., should all be taken into account.

- Alliances are allowed.

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For me, it's a tossup between him and Teddy Roosevelt. Lincoln might have a shot, too. He's got a definite reach advantage.

Skinny guys fight 'til they're burger.



My money's on the terrifying William Henry Harrison.

Oddly interesting question.  I'd give odds to Jackson, T.R., Grant, Ike, or Kennedy.  Slightly worse odds on G.H.W. Bush, Hayes, Harrison, McKinley, Arthur, Washington, and Garfield.  Outside chance on LBJ, Lincoln, or GW Bush.  Those three don't have a lot of combat experience, but they seemed like tough SOBs.


I have a feeling Clinton, J.Adams, Carter, FDR, Obama, Harding, Nixon and Ford would be the early casualties.  Kinda picturing that scene from The Hunger Games movie, where a bunch of little kids are massacred right at the beginning of the fight.


I hear Lincoln was actually quite a brawler during his heyday, so he has some combat experience (even if it's just fist fighting, which is still pretty applicable here). Let's also not forget that book (and it's horrible film adaptation) in which he hunts vampires. Based on a true story, so I hear.

Honestly, my odds are on Teddy Roosevelt. The guy got shot in an assassination attempt during a speech once and still continued speaking for about 90 minutes or so before seeking any medical attention. Definitely manly.

I have an image in my head of Clinton using his fisted thumb combo to unsuccessfully fend off a knife coming at him. Meanwhile O can't even finishing stuttering out a single word before he goes down. In all fairness I think Al-Gore-bot 2000 should be able to participate in this brawl.

My money's on Teddy Roosevelt or Jackson too, because they had actual combat experience.

Eisenhauer, despite being nominally a military man, did not have credible combat experience as far as I am aware; he had "connections" and a taste for fine living.

Grover Cleveland was a sheriff. Not sure how much fighting that entails; probably not all that much. But he was one of the few presidents to ever personally dispatch another man. Hanged two men. Jackson killed a man in a duel. Most presidents seem to have little qualms over killing, but most did not do the dirty work themselves. Kennedy personally ordered the assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem but was quite the little mafia princeling himself.

Lincoln not a credible contender despite being one of the most ruthless. I suspect stories of his fighting prowess are in fact legendary. He was very tall and very skinny; many doctors suspect Marfan syndrome which would have left him with detached retinas and a bad ticker. One of the first casualties I think, along with some of the pampered princelings mentioned.

There was a story in Teddy's biography about him leaping off a horse and knifing a mountain lion. My money would be on him or maybe Andrew Jackson. I'm guessing once the rules were explained they'd be the first to accept it and start killing.

Teddy, by far. biggest badass commander in cheif.


Lincoln. Didn't ya'll see the way he went through those vampires? 

I agree with most of the others on TR.

Probably one of the lesser known Presidents. While everyone is trying to butcher Roosevelt and Lincoln, they will just hang out in the back until everyone is bloodied, then swoop in for victory.


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