In Brief: Requiem For Commodore Nutt:
Of all the things to say about President Abraham Lincoln at a 199th Birthday Celebration, the doped-from-her-toes-to-her-tonsils Laura Bush offered this: "After the Union's devastating losses at Fredericksburg, President and Mrs. Lincoln, along with members of his Cabinet, were buoyed by the antics of P.T. Barnum's Commodore Nutt, a 29-inch tall singing and dancing circus star, who barely reached the President's knee." Seriously. This is what the First Lady of the United States offered to humanize Lincoln.
Yes, after 1300 or so were killed and nearly 10,000 wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg, Abraham Lincoln got his rocks off watching a midget, one of Barnum's freaks, dance. That's...charming.
Said an advertisement of Commodore Nutt: "The $30,000 Nutt, who is seen in the above illustration just bursting out of his shell, is beyond all doubt The Smallest Man in Miniature in the known world, and withal The most Pleasing and Fascinating.
18 Years Old!
Only 29 inches High!!
Weighs but 24 1/2 Pounds!!!
He is the merest pigmy of humanity; a very small Fraction of an Ordinary Sized Man. He was visited by over 50,000 persons the first week of his exhibition, and was universally pronounced the Most Attractive and Interesting human being ever known. He will continue to be seen At all Hours, every Day and Evening, in the character and costume of a Commodore, and at intervals appear in a variety of Songs, Dances, &c., in Character, the whole making an exhibition never equaled in the world."
In reality, Commodore Nutt was a miserable little man, jealous of Tom Thumb (who was, you know, a "General") because he wanted Thumb's woman for his own, forced to play second fiddle to the more well-known Thumb.
And, yes, Commodore Nutt is today's metaphor for our Commander-in-Chief.