Friday, July 02, 2010

Presidential ranking released in time for 4th of July picnics!

Like many of you, I am facing a long weekend of picnics, cookouts and parties. Luckily Politico and the Siena College Poll have provided us with a great conversation starter: a poll ranking our 43 presidents, past and present!
The Siena College poll, which surveyed 238 presidential scholars at U.S. colleges and universities, asked scholars to rate the nation’s 43 chief executives on 20 attributes ranging from legislative accomplishments to integrity and imagination.

In the overall ranking, Obama rated two places below Clinton, who was 13th best, and three better than Reagan, who is ranked as the 18th best.

Franklin D. Roosevelt again earned the top spot, as he has every time since the poll was first conducted in 1982. He and the Mount Rushmore presidents — Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson — have consistently been the top five presidents in the poll’s findings.
That's a really easy mnemonic for remembering who the best presidents were: FDR plus Mount Rushmore.

But who were the worst?

Probably not many surprises on this list either:
Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, was ranked at number 23 in 2002 — the last time Siena’s presidential expert poll was conducted — but has since dropped to number 39, qualifying him as one of the five worst presidents. Bush came in at number 42 — second to last — on issues such as handling the U.S. economy, foreign policy accomplishments and intelligence. (Warren G. Harding was rated the least intelligent president).

Bush joins Harding, Andrew Johnson, James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce, all of whom have consistently ranked as the worst presidents since the poll started, in the bottom five.
For the record I consider George W. Bush to be only the second worst president in our history, ranking him 42nd. I don't see how Bush will ever dethrone James Buchanan as the worst president in history since Buchanan did so much to lead this nation into a bloody civil war that was by no means unavoidable.

Is there anything in this poll conservatives can console themselves with? Maybe: Jimmy Carter dropped seven spots, from Number 25 in 2002 to Number 32.

Read more at Politico.

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