RANKING THE PRESIDENTS: A little premature, but where does "W" fit in?

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jan 22, 2009 6:30 PM GMT
    2/15/10: Presidents Day.
    I remember this thread from early last year about the "rankings" of Presidents and of course received alot of comments. Who is your favorite President and why? How do you think he should rank in history?

    I have a variety of favorites...... Grover Cleveland, Lincoln (certainly),
    Harry Truman.

    Happy Presidents Day.

    From January, 2009:

    Being an avid study of the Presidents, I find how historians rank them as fascinating.... why they may consider events either positive or negative.
    Some Presidents (like Harry Truman) exited the White House pretty unpopular, but time can change perception dramatically and he is rated as one of the better presidents.

    Andrew Johnson (who followed Lincoln... 1865-69) is now viewed as one of the worst presidents because of his difficulties with reconstruction.

    And what about "W"? How will Bush be considered? Most think he will be viewed as one of the worst presidents (some think average). I think it may change as well. What do you think?


    A related article:




    Historical rankings of United States Presidents
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Sculptor Gutzon Borglum and President Calvin Coolidge selected Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lincoln to appear on Mount Rushmore.In political science, historical rankings of United States Presidents are surveys conducted in order to construct rankings of the success of individuals who have served as President of the United States. Ranking systems are usually based on surveys of academic historians and political scientists or popular opinion. The rankings focus on the presidential achievements, leadership qualities, failures and faults (such as corruption).

    General findings
    George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt are consistently ranked at the top of the lists. Often ranked just below those three are Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt. The remaining top 10 ranks are often rounded out by James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy have often scored very highly in popular opinion polls, but rank highly in only some polls of historians. The bottom ranks often include Franklin Pierce, Warren G. Harding, and James Buchanan. Two presidents, William Henry Harrison and James A. Garfield, died after less than six months in office, and are sometimes not ranked.


    Exceptions
    Some presidents present special problems because their foreign policy success or failure stands in contradiction to their domestic policy failure or success. Political scientist Walter Dean Burnham noted the "dichotomous or schizoid profiles." Historian Alan Brinkley said, "There are presidents who could be considered both failures and great or near great (for example, Nixon)". James MacGregor Burns observed of Nixon, "How can one evaluate such an idiosyncratic president, so brilliant and so morally lacking?"[1]


    Notable scholar surveys



    The C-SPAN Survey of Presidential Leadership was a 1999 survey of academic historians (with self-selected responders). It found that historians consider Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin D. Roosevelt the three best presidents by a wide margin and William Henry Harrison, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan the worst.[5]

    A 2000 survey by The Wall Street Journal consisted of an "ideologically balanced group of 132 prominent professors of history, law, and political science". This poll sought to include an equal number of liberals and conservatives in the survey, as the editors argued that previous polls were dominated by either one group or the other, but never balanced. According to the editors, this poll included responses from more women, minorities, and young professors than the 1996 Schlesinger poll. The editors noted that the results of their poll were "remarkably similar" to the 1996 Schlesinger poll, with the main difference in the 2000 poll being the lower rankings for the 1960s presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy, and higher ranking of President Ronald Reagan at #8. Franklin Roosevelt still ranked in the top three.

    Another presidential poll was conducted by The Wall Street Journal in 2005, with James Lindgren of Northwestern University Law School for the Federalist Society.[6] As in the 2000 survey, the editors sought to balance the opinions of liberals and conservatives, adjusting the results "to give Democratic- and Republican-leaning scholars equal weight." Franklin D. Roosevelt still ranked in the top-three, but editor James Taranto noted that Democratic-leaning scholars rated George W. Bush the sixth-worst president of all time, while Republican scholars rated him the sixth-best, giving him a split-decision rating of "average".

    A 2006 Siena College poll of 744 professors reported the following results:[7]

    "George W. Bush has just finished five years as President. If today were the last day of his presidency, how would you rank him? The responses were: Great: 2%; Near Great: 5%; Average: 11%; Below Average: 24%; Failure: 58%."
    "In your judgment, do you think he has a realistic chance of improving his rating?” Two-thirds (67%) responded no; less than a quarter (23%) responded yes; and 10% chose no opinion or n
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 22, 2009 11:33 PM GMT
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    George W Bush Bringin' up the rear icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 22, 2009 11:39 PM GMT
    Well, I naturally think the Bush years have been a near complete disaster (I liked a vast minority of stuff he did, but I have forgotten what exactly it was) and I firmly believe that history will not vindicate him. However, there was an interesting article on this at a favorite blog of mine.

    The author compared approval raitings to historian's ranking of the best/worst predidents. Here is a graph to sum up

    approve_1.png

    If you take Truman out it is a somewhat direct relationship, so we could guess that GW will not be remembered fondly. But, if Truman can be a wild card why not Bushy?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 22, 2009 11:46 PM GMT
    I don't think it's too relevant because it seems at this juncture, no will ever be fighting about him as one of our best.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 12:10 AM GMT
    Well ,one thing you can about him: He was the most powerful president of out time. Congress which by the constitution is supposed to be running things did a roll-over for almost 8 years.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 12:29 AM GMT
    It's WAY too early to judge Bush in my book. There is just so much we don't know yet... maybe we will never know.

    History geeks... I mean buffs, like myself, usually wait up to twenty years before events can be accuratly recorded in history without personal bias.

    What if Bush did all kinds of stuff the violated international conventions and treaties?

    What is Bush hid information from the public in order to save American lives while at the same time dropping his poll ratings?

    What if there is more to his presidency than we know right now?


    Give it time... we are emotional now and happy to see him leave. He can hide in Texas from Americans. But he can never hide from History.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jan 23, 2009 12:35 AM GMT
    50?









    OK, seriously, I don't know. I don't think he was the WORST president we've ever had, but he's certainly been the worst of my lifetime, and probably of modern times. I think he was well-meaning, but among his problems were a worldview that was too simplistic, he surrounded himself with unethical and power hungry people, and he was not concerned with competence and accountability. He was woefully inadequate for what the world threw at him and incapable of rising to the challenge. He may not be the worst president, but he's got to be way down the list.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 12:39 AM GMT
    He'll be at the bottom of the list

    Maybe ahead of Harding

    Maybe
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 12:46 AM GMT
    History happens now.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 1:03 AM GMT
    He supported what had always been considered torture, He conducted illegal surveilance, He took us to war in a country that had nothing to do with 9-11, while being told by his own people that there was no connection, his narrow minded neocon group had planned to go to war with Iraq before 9-11, then was exposed as fixing the evidence to fit the policy. All this he did against our laws, those of all other democratic nations, treaties, and conventions. These actions exacerbated the hate, and therefore the recruitement of terrorists who saw pics of the other illegal thing he did at Guantanamo, and Abu Graib, their people were held with no charges, no recourse under Habeaus Corpus which had been the standard for hundreds of years when holding prisoners. WHAT WAS THAT DUMB F-----ER THINKING ??? answer he wasn't thinking !!!! Enough facts are in already on him, there is no excuse for the tragedy that he placed on our country and the world through his policies. No president has cause this much damage to our country previously, and if you can show me who it is that has, please do. There of course will be more information to come in but what could possibly exonerate him for all of the above? if anything he will be judged even harsher as more facts come out !!! I'd bet on it !!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 1:24 AM GMT
    How I'd rank Bush depends on how long were going back or on what topic wear speaking about.

    I'd most certainly place President W. Wilson below Bush on human rights and social issues. In some regards you could even place FDR and Truman right along Bush when it came to human rights.

    If were talking about least effective president in modern history then yeah, I'd say Bush takes the cake on that one.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 1:48 AM GMT
    Based on percentile rankings, with Lincoln in the 98th percentile and FDR close behind, I would put the latest President around the 25th percentile.

  • Freddo

    Posts: 246

    Jan 23, 2009 2:07 AM GMT
    Somewhere between Washington and Harding... but probably closer to Harding.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 2:10 AM GMT
    Eh...we like Premier Bush. He was a very strong man, but perhaps not so strong as his father Barbara.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 3:05 AM GMT
    Buchanon was the worst. Did nothing to stop the south from seceeding and taking over key military installations from the Union army. Bush's presidency didn;t directly lead to civil war. But he was pretty awful
  • Freddo

    Posts: 246

    Jan 23, 2009 3:11 AM GMT
    TheIStrat saidBuchanon was the worst. Did nothing to stop the south from seceeding and taking over key military installations from the Union army. Bush's presidency didn;t directly lead to civil war. But he was pretty awful


    If you look at the bright side of Buchanan's presidency, he DID almost get rid of the south for us. icon_lol.gif
  • Thirdbeach

    Posts: 1364

    Jan 23, 2009 3:14 AM GMT
    Never mind W, where will Dick Cheney rank among the Vice Presidents?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 3:16 AM GMT
    Why all this crap and charts? Bush was the worst President in history, period. He did the most harm and less good than anyone before him. End of discussion.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 3:18 AM GMT
    Freddo said
    TheIStrat saidBuchanon was the worst. Did nothing to stop the south from seceeding and taking over key military installations from the Union army. Bush's presidency didn;t directly lead to civil war. But he was pretty awful


    If you look at the bright side of Buchanan's presidency, he DID almost get rid of the south for us. icon_lol.gif


    But I live in the south
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 3:20 AM GMT
    I'd put Bush in the Bottom 20. He's comparable to Nixon or Grant. Controversial. Complicated. Not the right person for the job. But still memorable unlike so many with names like Pierce, Hayes, Coolidge, Harrison, and Fillmore.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 3:22 AM GMT
    Thirdbeach saidNever mind W, where will Dick Cheney rank among the Vice Presidents?


    The only one (other than those that became or ran for President, and the disgraced Spiro Agnew) who will be remembered for anything in history.
  • Freddo

    Posts: 246

    Jan 23, 2009 3:26 AM GMT
    TheIStrat said
    Freddo said
    TheIStrat saidBuchanon was the worst. Did nothing to stop the south from seceeding and taking over key military installations from the Union army. Bush's presidency didn;t directly lead to civil war. But he was pretty awful


    If you look at the bright side of Buchanan's presidency, he DID almost get rid of the south for us. icon_lol.gif


    But I live in the south


    Well... geographically yes. Culturally, no.

    We'd just take the cultural north then. You'd still be good. icon_wink.gif
  • bradsmith

    Posts: 175

    Jan 23, 2009 3:35 AM GMT
    "W" who?

    (grin)
    mark.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Jan 23, 2009 3:45 AM GMT
    I think he will end up in the bottom 10.

    Presidents like Nixon and Carter had many positives to offset their more dramatic failures. Combatting AIDS will not save this president from his legacy of a failed economic policy and the loss of American credibility overseas. The list of Bush failures is about twice the length of my arm (every thing from immigration reform and Social Security to Katrina and Iraq). This man's legacy is lots lost, little accomplished.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jan 23, 2009 1:33 PM GMT
    NoSuchPerson saidI'd put Bush in the Bottom 20. He's comparable to Nixon or Grant. Controversial. Complicated. Not the right person for the job. But still memorable unlike so many with names like Pierce, Hayes, Coolidge, Harrison, and Fillmore.




    Some of those you quoted I might partially agree with, but not Coolidge.
    He was ultra conservative, but a very odd man personally. He took over for Harding in 1923, but he did win his own term in 1924 and was even encouraged to run in 1932.

    Pierce was just a mess after he left office. A drunk, lost his wife in a divorce and his reputation (which wasn't that bad when he was President).
    William Henry Harrison and James Garfield probably are "no names" because they weren't in there long enough, but James did have a good reputation from the Civil War.