BEST & WORST US PRESIDENTS

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jan 18, 2012 2:01 PM GMT
    We've had disagreements on this site about the best and worst US Presidents (as ranked by historians and a variety of sources). Those of us on this site disagree (of course) as much as the historians. Because of the recent (and unfair) assertion that President Carter is ranked at the bottom, I wanted to say that I've read at least from 20 sources... some sources, usually publications that try and use a mix of sources for their results (like US News & World report for instance). Individual historians have a wider
    list of results... those who are more progressive tend to place Kennedy higher and presidents like Reagan more at the middle of the pack. Those who are more conservative, tend to characterize Reagan as a "top tier" president and downplay some more recent democratic presidents such as
    Kennedy and Clinton. Most lists have Lincoln, Washington, Truman,
    both Roosevelts and perhaps Jefferson and Eisenhower (which I personally disagree with) in the top 10. Most lists continue to have presidents such as
    Hoover, Harding, Buchanan (many list him as the "worst") at the very bottom.

    A couple of things:

    1. I've never seen Jimmy Carter listed as a "worst" president, except by a few "far righties". Consider the source.

    2. I saw one list that ranked Obama at number 15

    3. I've seen Grant listed lower and in some cases higher... kind of interesting. I think many view the corrupt events of his administration
    heavily.

    4. Most lists continue to rank George "W" as one of the worst presidents
    we've ever had.


    Here is a typical listing of the presidents from what I would consider a
    reasonable source.

    .Historians rate the best (and worst) of American presidents
    Independent Examiner
    February 16, 2009 -

    Waiting for their grades...

    Sixty-five historians have brought their far-reaching perspective to the list of American presidents, and ranked them from best to worst.

    Considering a litany of factors in 10 different categories ranging from economic management to crisis management, the list places Abraham Lincoln as the greatest U.S. leader. Lincoln placed in the top three in each of the top 10 categories. Presidents were given ratings of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent).

    After Lincoln, historians placed George Washington next, followed by back-to-back Roosevelts (Franklin D. Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt, respectively) and then Harry Truman.

    Modern highlights include George W. Bush ranked #36 out of 42, Ronald Reagan coming in at #10, and William Jefferson Clinton placing at #15.

    James Buchanan sits at the unenviable bottom.




    Here's the entire list:


    Abraham Lincoln: 1


    George Washington: 2


    Franklin D. Roosevelt: 3


    Theodore Roosevelt: 4


    Harry S. Truman: 5


    John F. Kennedy: 6


    Thomas Jefferson: 7


    Dwight D. Eisenhower: 8


    Woodrow Wilson: 9


    Ronald Reagan: 10


    Lyndon B. Johnson: 11


    James K. Polk: 12


    Andrew Jackson: 13


    James Monroe: 14


    Bill Clinton: 15


    William McKinley: 16


    John Adams: 17


    George H.W. Bush: 18


    John Quincy Adams: 19


    James Madison: 20


    Grover Cleveland: 21


    Gerald R. Ford: 22


    Ulysses S. Grant: 23


    William Howard Taft: 24


    Jimmy Carter: 25


    Calvin Coolidge: 26


    Richard M. Nixon: 27


    James A. Garfield: 28


    Zachary Taylor: 29


    Benjamin Harrison: 30


    Martin Van Buren: 31


    Chester A. Arthur: 32


    Rutherford B. Hayes: 33


    Herbert Hoover: 34


    John Tyler: 35


    George W. Bush: 36


    Millard Fillmore: 37


    Warren G. Harding: 38


    William Henry Harrison: 39


    Franklin D. Pierce: 40


    Andrew Johnson: 41


    James Buchanan: 42

  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Jan 18, 2012 2:50 PM GMT
    I find these lists utterly ridiculous and totally subjective. It's virtually impossible to gauge a president in relation to others because the times were different, he was dealing with different congresses, and a whole different set of circumstances, world events, disasters, wars, etc.
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    Jan 18, 2012 3:09 PM GMT
    James Polk is perhaps the most under-rated. Under him, the groundwork was completed under which the US could become a world economic and political powerhouse.

    When you look at a map of the lower 48 states, the boundaries we are familiar with came about under his administration (with the exception of a small slice of land on the US Mexico border). We won the Mexico war, thus giving us AZ, UT, CA, NV, NM, parts of CO, WY and OK; our boundaries in the Pacific northwest were finalized giving us WA, OR and ID.

    The Naval Acadamy was established, and postage stamps were finally issued - before Polk, most mail was COD. The Treasury was reformed and free trade became a cornerstone of US policy. The US gained rights to use the Isthmus of Panama, setting the stage for the eventual building of the Panama Canal.

    All during just four years.
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    Jan 18, 2012 3:30 PM GMT
    Alpha_Muscle saidI would not put Lincoln first. He actually did less than he is given credit for doing.

    And personally, I would put Theodore Roosevelt above Franklin Roosevelt.

    My top would be:

    1. Washington

    2. Roosevelt T.

    3. Roosevelt R.

    4. Truman (under appreciated)

    5. T. Jefferson

    ...
    ...
    ...

    I would have to think about the worst, but I dont want to think that hard right now.
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    Jan 18, 2012 3:34 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidObama = Best

    Bush 43 (tied with Reagan) = Worst

    In between, all the other Democrat presidents will be in the top half of the list and all the other Republican presidents will be in the bottom half of the list.



    Notice how RMN has come up the list a bit since the haters are forgetters. And HST was widely ranked as “the worst ever’ shortly after his admin. Yep, I think over time GWB will place in the top 15. Let me know in about 30 -40 years.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jan 18, 2012 6:31 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidI find these lists utterly ridiculous and totally subjective. It's virtually impossible to gauge a president in relation to others because the times were different, he was dealing with different congresses, and a whole different set of circumstances, world events, disasters, wars, etc.


    I agree with a part of your premise, but I think you can rank presidents in terms of how they delt with issues of their day. To condemn lists of this nature as "utterly ridiculous" really misses the point.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jan 18, 2012 6:32 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidObama = Best

    Bush 43 (tied with Reagan) = Worst

    In between, all the other Democrat presidents will be in the top half of the list and all the other Republican presidents will be in the bottom half of the list.



    Lets not be absurd.... and it's "democratic".....

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    Jan 18, 2012 10:04 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    southbeach1500 saidObama = Best

    Bush 43 (tied with Reagan) = Worst

    In between, all the other Democrat presidents will be in the top half of the list and all the other Republican presidents will be in the bottom half of the list.



    Notice how RMN has come up the list a bit since the haters are forgetters. And HST was widely ranked as “the worst ever’ shortly after his admin. Yep, I think over time GWB will place in the top 15. Let me know in about 30 -40 years.





    LMFAO!

    Yeah right.

    In "30-40 years" the Bush:

    Recession
    Banking crisis
    Housing crisis
    Doubling of the National Debt
    Trillion dollar Iraq War debacle
    Katrina bungling
    Lies about torture
    Job losses (8.7million)
    And historically low poll numbers (leaving office with a shockingly low 21% approval rating)

    will all just disappear in a puff of pretty pink smoke - leaving Bush looking and smelling like a rose!

    LOL!

    You delusional Bush-backing Repubs crack me up!

    What planet are you living on!



    It's tough to pick the best president ever - but the worst ever is easy.
    GEORGE W. BUSH - BY FAR THE WORST EVER
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    Jan 18, 2012 10:30 PM GMT
    Kennedy, Wilson, Reagan, Carter, Grant, and Hoover too high. Especially Kennedy. Never got the brouhaha over this guy; on the merits Nixon was more competent and made more progress.

    Jackson and Cleveland too low.

    Otherwise a good list.
  • JP85257

    Posts: 3284

    Jan 18, 2012 10:38 PM GMT
    FDR started the fucking.....Johnson continued it and Obama is hoping to finish it.
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    Jan 18, 2012 10:41 PM GMT
    TrojanAthlete saidKennedy, Wilson, Reagan, Carter, Grant, and Hoover too high. Especially Kennedy. Never got the brouhaha over this guy; on the merits Nixon was more competent and made more progress.

    Jackson and Cleveland too low.

    Otherwise a good list.


    Nixon = the biggest post WWII ‘progressive’
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    Jan 18, 2012 10:43 PM GMT
    RickRick91 said
    freedomisntfree said
    southbeach1500 saidObama = Best

    Bush 43 (tied with Reagan) = Worst

    In between, all the other Democrat presidents will be in the top half of the list and all the other Republican presidents will be in the bottom half of the list.



    Notice how RMN has come up the list a bit since the haters are forgetters. And HST was widely ranked as “the worst ever’ shortly after his admin. Yep, I think over time GWB will place in the top 15. Let me know in about 30 -40 years.





    LMFAO!

    Yeah right.

    In "30-40 years" the Bush:

    Recession
    Banking crisis
    Housing crisis
    Doubling of the National Debt
    Trillion dollar Iraq War debacle
    Katrina bungling
    Lies about torture
    Job losses (8.7million)
    And historically low poll numbers (leaving office with a shockingly low 21% approval rating)

    will all just disappear in a puff of pretty pink smoke - leaving Bush looking and smelling like a rose!

    LOL!

    You delusional Bush-backing Repubs crack me up!

    What planet are you living on!



    It's tough to pick the best president ever - but the worst ever is easy.
    GEORGE W. BUSH - BY FAR THE WORST EVER


    Humor me please, in what ways was 15 a better president?

    over time, easily top 15 ! Maybe even top 10 ..... in the HST tradition.
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    Jan 18, 2012 10:49 PM GMT
    JP85257 saidFDR started the fucking.....Johnson continued it and Obama is hoping to finish it.





    LOL!

    Totally unsupported by the facts.

    I'll correct it for you.

    Reagan started the fucking, the Bushes continued it, and Romney is hoping to finish it.

    The truth is that the last 30+ years of REPUB economics policies have fucked the Great American Middle Class.

    And that IS supported by the facts!
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    Jan 18, 2012 10:56 PM GMT
    I would say the best Presidents are Washington, Lincoln, Reagan, JFK, Truman and Eisenhower.

    The worst would have to be Lyndon Johnson, Carter, Pierce, Buchanan, Ford, and of course Obama.
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    Jan 18, 2012 10:56 PM GMT
    RickRick91 said
    JP85257 saidFDR started the fucking.....Johnson continued it and Obama is hoping to finish it.





    LOL!

    Totally unsupported by the facts.

    I'll correct it for you.

    Reagan started the fucking, the Bushes continued it, and Romney is hoping to finish it.

    The truth is that the last 30+ years of REPUB economics policies have fucked the Great American Middle Class.

    And that IS supported by the facts!


    'your facts'

    Rickrick, by all means pound that ‘ctrl R’ to death and spew your hate. Whatever makes you feel better. In the meanwhile, I’ll see if I can make a few bucks. Enjoy yourself !
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    Jan 18, 2012 10:56 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said

    over time, easily top 15 ! Maybe even top 10 ..... in the HST tradition.


    I can easily name twenty Presidents better than Dubya off the top of my head when thinking about their achievements.

    Top ten?

    In what ways is Hoover's long lost lovechild Dubya a better President that Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Madison, both Roosevelts, Truman, Monroe, and Eisenhower -- or for that matter Reagan, Clinton, Coolidge, Cleveland, LBJ, H-dubs, and both Adamses? Pray tell, please. I wasn't aware that any of the above presided over the beginning of the second-worst economic downtown in American history.
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    Jan 18, 2012 10:59 PM GMT
    CHRISTOPHER34 saidI would say the best Presidents are Washington, Lincoln, Reagan, JFK, Truman and Eisenhower.

    The worst would have to be Lyndon Johnson, Carter, Pierce, Buchanan, Ford, and of course Obama.


    Dude, do a little research on one of them .... 38
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    Jan 18, 2012 11:01 PM GMT
    TrojanAthlete said
    freedomisntfree said

    over time, easily top 15 ! Maybe even top 10 ..... in the HST tradition.


    I can easily name twenty Presidents better than Dubya off the top of my head when thinking about their achievements.

    Top ten?

    In what ways is Hoover's long lost lovechild Dubya a better President that Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Madison, both Roosevelts, Truman, Monroe, and Eisenhower -- or for that matter Reagan, Clinton, Coolidge, Cleveland, LBJ, and both Adamses? Pray tell, please. I wasn't aware that any of the above ran the country into the ground, running up the debt and almost destroying their parties in the process.


    Pray what? yeah, it's what they said about HST at one time, but give it time. Check back in about 30 yrs.
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    Jan 18, 2012 11:02 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    TrojanAthlete said
    freedomisntfree said

    over time, easily top 15 ! Maybe even top 10 ..... in the HST tradition.


    I can easily name twenty Presidents better than Dubya off the top of my head when thinking about their achievements.

    Top ten?

    In what ways is Hoover's long lost lovechild Dubya a better President that Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Madison, both Roosevelts, Truman, Monroe, and Eisenhower -- or for that matter Reagan, Clinton, Coolidge, Cleveland, LBJ, and both Adamses? Pray tell, please. I wasn't aware that any of the above ran the country into the ground, running up the debt and almost destroying their parties in the process.


    Pray what? yeah, it's what they said about HST at one time, but give it time. Check back in about 30 yrs.


    Translation: I have zero facts to support my ridiculous assertion that Bush is a better President than the ones I named, placing him firmly in the bottom twenty on a good day.

    In thirty years the records of the above-named will still outweigh that of the overspending "compassionate conservative" who almost destroyed his own party.
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    Jan 18, 2012 11:03 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    CHRISTOPHER34 saidI would say the best Presidents are Washington, Lincoln, Reagan, JFK, Truman and Eisenhower.

    The worst would have to be Lyndon Johnson, Carter, Pierce, Buchanan, Ford, and of course Obama.


    Dude, do a little research on one of them .... 38


    Maybe I'm being unfair to Ford, but reading up on history I always felt that he was in over his head. Of course he was appointed to the VP and Presidency so he really couldn't help it. To compare him to Buchanan, Obama and Carter though is unfair, your right.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 18, 2012 11:04 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    southbeach1500 saidObama = Best

    Bush 43 (tied with Reagan) = Worst

    In between, all the other Democrat presidents will be in the top half of the list and all the other Republican presidents will be in the bottom half of the list.



    Notice how RMN has come up the list a bit since the haters are forgetters. And HST was widely ranked as “the worst ever’ shortly after his admin. Yep, I think over time GWB will place in the top 15. Let me know in about 30 -40 years.


    Really?
    Top 15?

    Nixon opened up China which helped his poor rating
    I will ask you now ...... What is it that the War Criminal did that might bring up his lagging legacy ........ After we ummmm ... As you put it FORGET
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    Jan 18, 2012 11:05 PM GMT
    TrojanAthlete said
    freedomisntfree said
    TrojanAthlete said
    freedomisntfree said

    over time, easily top 15 ! Maybe even top 10 ..... in the HST tradition.


    I can easily name twenty Presidents better than Dubya off the top of my head when thinking about their achievements.

    Top ten?

    In what ways is Hoover's long lost lovechild Dubya a better President that Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Madison, both Roosevelts, Truman, Monroe, and Eisenhower -- or for that matter Reagan, Clinton, Coolidge, Cleveland, LBJ, and both Adamses? Pray tell, please. I wasn't aware that any of the above ran the country into the ground, running up the debt and almost destroying their parties in the process.


    Pray what? yeah, it's what they said about HST at one time, but give it time. Check back in about 30 yrs.


    Translation: I have zero facts to support my ridiculous assertion that Bush is a better President than the ones I named, placing him firmly in the bottom twenty on a good day.

    In thirty years the records of the above-named will still outweigh that of the overspending "compassionate conservative" who almost destroyed his own party.



    go fist fuck yourself .... again!

    Take decades to make an evaluation. HST is a very good example
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    Jan 18, 2012 11:06 PM GMT
    GQjock said
    freedomisntfree said
    southbeach1500 saidObama = Best

    Bush 43 (tied with Reagan) = Worst

    In between, all the other Democrat presidents will be in the top half of the list and all the other Republican presidents will be in the bottom half of the list.



    Notice how RMN has come up the list a bit since the haters are forgetters. And HST was widely ranked as “the worst ever’ shortly after his admin. Yep, I think over time GWB will place in the top 15. Let me know in about 30 -40 years.


    Really?
    Top 15?

    Nixon opened up China which helped his poor rating
    I will ask you now ...... What is it that the War Criminal did that might bring up his lagging legacy ........ After we ummmm ... As you put it FORGET


    maybe even top 10
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 18, 2012 11:10 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    GQjock said
    freedomisntfree said
    southbeach1500 saidObama = Best

    Bush 43 (tied with Reagan) = Worst

    In between, all the other Democrat presidents will be in the top half of the list and all the other Republican presidents will be in the bottom half of the list.



    Notice how RMN has come up the list a bit since the haters are forgetters. And HST was widely ranked as “the worst ever’ shortly after his admin. Yep, I think over time GWB will place in the top 15. Let me know in about 30 -40 years.


    Really?
    Top 15?

    Nixon opened up China which helped his poor rating
    I will ask you now ...... What is it that the War Criminal did that might bring up his lagging legacy ........ After we ummmm ... As you put it FORGET


    maybe even top 10


    You go Girl.....

    That's good positive thinking
    Ain't gonna happen ... But it's still good positive thinking icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 18, 2012 11:11 PM GMT
    GQjock said
    freedomisntfree said
    GQjock said
    freedomisntfree said
    southbeach1500 saidObama = Best

    Bush 43 (tied with Reagan) = Worst

    In between, all the other Democrat presidents will be in the top half of the list and all the other Republican presidents will be in the bottom half of the list.



    Notice how RMN has come up the list a bit since the haters are forgetters. And HST was widely ranked as “the worst ever’ shortly after his admin. Yep, I think over time GWB will place in the top 15. Let me know in about 30 -40 years.


    Really?
    Top 15?

    Nixon opened up China which helped his poor rating
    I will ask you now ...... What is it that the War Criminal did that might bring up his lagging legacy ........ After we ummmm ... As you put it FORGET


    maybe even top 10


    You go Girl.....

    That's good positive thinking
    Ain't gonna happen ... But it's still good positive thinking icon_wink.gif


    Maybe even top 8