Starting with Washington, who allegedly gambled and whipped his horses, and Lincoln, the "ape ...gorilla ...monster," vilified for his wife's extravagance, our presidents have been accused of malfeasance and scandalous conduct--slander abetted by the press to satisfy a gossip-avid public. In this succulent collection of bruited White House peccadillos, Mitchell ( How to Get Elected ) verifies that Kennedy deserved his repute for libertinage, Buchanan for ineptitude and Pierce for alcoholism, but he shows that more damaging were Harding's Teapot Dome scandals and Nixon's Watergate debacle. Other presidents, notably Cleveland and Wilson, lied about their health, and both Roosevelts excelled at manipulating Congress. To Reagan, "The Teflon President," Mitchell awards the prize for mismanagement and political irresponsibility. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.