July 2, 2010

Obama is the 15th greatest President of all time.

According to a survey of 238 presidential scholars:
In office for barely two years, Obama entered the survey in the 15th position - two spots behind Bill Clinton and three spots ahead of Ronald Reagan.

Obama got high marks for intelligence, ability to communicate and imagination, but his score was dragged down by his relative lack of experience and family background.
Yeah, they marked him down because of his humble beginnings. He should have been higher.

George W. Bush is at 39th place: "a steep drop from 23rd place, which is where Bush ranked when he entered the survey after his first year in office." He got marked way down for his low capacity for compromise. Plus he was the second-to-the-dumbest President. Harding was the biggest dunce.

The linked article is in The Daily News, which also has a poll asking readers to pick "the best president of your lifetime." The Democratic Party choices are getting nearly all the votes, with Barack Obama the biggest winner at 37%. The Republican choices can only scrape together 6% of the votes total, with Reagan hogging 5%. George W. Bush gets 1%. George H.W. Bush is left off the list, but the so is Jimmy Carter — would anyone say Carter? — and there is an "Other" choice, so it's balanced.

I'll redo the survey here, for what it's worth. I'm including all the Presidents but only going back to Carter. A lot of us are older, but it's screwy to have some of us voting for guys that other readers can't vote for.

Who's the best President of your lifetime?
Barack Obama
George W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George H.W. Bush
Ronald Reagan
Jimmy Carter

  
pollcode.com free polls

126 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

Hey look scholars!

MadisonMan said...

Why do you not include Ford, Nixon, LBJ or JFK in that poll?

Fred4Pres said...

Some people are afraid of scholars, but I find them entertaining.

shoutingthomas said...

It really is no contest.

The readers of this site are dead-on.

Where is the successor to Ronald Reagan? I doubt that there is one.

Reagan policies of tax cutting and de-regulation lead to a 30 year period of prosperity.

He played a key role in the defeat and dismantling of the Soviet Union.

I'm hoping that Sarah Palin is a Reaganite. We'll see.

Christoph said...

With 33 votes in, 94% for Reagan and the other 6% for the moist cigar.

That's interesting. I think we're seeing some pretty strong patterns (not odors) on both left and right.

MadisonMan said...

It seems to me that people will vote predominantly for the President in the party with which they associate.

They should explicitly ask Who was the best Republican President, and who was the best Democratic President. That would be a more accurate measure, IMO.

Daniel Fielding said...

Must have interviewed some leftist, Obama worshippers.

Christoph said...

Only slightly, Madison Man. They'd pick the most government-expansive and/or photogenic Democratic Presidents, and pick the most left-wing or ineffective Republican Presidents. Plus Reagan.

Kirstin said...

George W. Bush had a low capacity for compromise? What about Barack "I won" Obama pushing through legislation with bipartisan opposition but no bipartisan support?

shoutingthomas said...

It seems to me that people will vote predominantly for the President in the party with which they associate.

I did not vote for Ronald Reagan. Back then, I was a dumb idealistic kid.

Only years later did I understand that the world offers only relative choices, not ideals.

It's been said that liberals get elected only when enough time has elapsed for a new generation to forget what liberals did the last time they were in power.

That seems to be true.

We now have a generation of voters young enough to have forgotten the disaster of the Carter administration, the last leftist idealistic president. Those young voters have also been indoctrinated in the nonsense that Reagan was the Big Blue Meanie because he made hard choices in the real world.

Idealistic liberals have the power now to enact their idiot idealism. The result will be the disillusionment of generations of young people, who will develop the sense to understand that you can't have your cake and eat it too.

"Scholars" live in an artificial environment, safe from competition and hard work. They enjoy a permanent adolescence. The rest of us do not.

AJ Lynch said...

Intelligent? Someone who pronounces "corpsman" as corpse man and does it more than once just ain't very intelligent.

But I will be fair and withhold final judgment until he releases his SAT scores and college transcripts.

AlphaLiberal said...

Let's not forget the Reagan Administration was deeply corrupt, from Ed Meese to trading arms to Iran for hoatages, to running an illegal war in Central America with purloined funds.

Iran-Contra, anyone?

Ronald Reagan also blamed Jimmy Carter into his second term for the lousy economy under Reagan.

Ronald Reagan also drastically increased the deficits. The budget deficit, if memory serves, tripled under Reagan.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Oh, all right, MM. Abraham Lincoln and Grover Cleveland.

AJ Lynch said...

Or when he advised Americans to inflate your tires so we could save a lot of gas?

Or his lack of understanding of what a capital gain is?

Or his claim that Arizona does not border Mexico?

AJ Lynch said...

Alpha - you voted twice didn't you?

shoutingthomas said...

Let's not forget the Reagan Administration was deeply corrupt, from Ed Meese to trading arms to Iran for hoatages, to running an illegal war in Central America with purloined funds.

Iran-Contra, anyone?

Here we have the problem in liberal thinking exemplified.

I also thought that Reagan's policy toward Nicaragua was wrong when I was a kid.

Reagan was determined to destroy the communist insurgencies in Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador.

Calling his efforts to defeat these insurgencies "corruption" .... well, that sort of makes it clear which side you were rooting for, doesn't it Alpha?

Reagan considered defeating communist a moral imperative. Obviously, Alpha, you've got a soft spot in your heart for the commies. I did, too, when I was a kid.

We're fighting that battle all over again, now in the U.S. Generations of kids have been indoctrinated by "scholars" that communism isn't really the genocidal evil Reagan believed it to be. Those "scholars" just think they need to be the new Stalin, and the revolution will finally be humane and successful.

They are deluded, and so are you.

AlphaLiberal said...

Conservatives place a high premium on being anti-science, anti-scholar and pro-ignorance.

As Republican Senator Bob Bennett said recently, the Republican Party doesn't have ideas, just slogans.

And as Lindsey Graham and other Republicans have noted, Ronald Reagan could not win a primary in today's hyper-conservative Republican Party.

* Reagan increased taxes (gasoline and corporate taxes).
* Reagan created a new federal agency without cutting one.
* He expanded entitlements - "$165 billion bailout of Social Security"
* Individual tax rates were higher under Reagan than Obama.
* Reagan negotiated arms control treaties with the Soviet Union.

One source of many: Reagan's Liberal Legacy

Also..
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_06/024155.php

Reagan would be run out of the Republican Party today.

shoutingthomas said...

Reagan would be run out of the Republican Party today.

Classic wishful thinking from a far-left loon.

Alpha, conservatives, especially Reagan conservatives don't need advice from you.

We'll take care of our own business.

AlphaLiberal said...

Calling his efforts to defeat these insurgencies "corruption" .... well, that sort of makes it clear which side you were rooting for, doesn't it Alpha?

A) The government regimes in those countries were brutal and murderous (remember the US Nuns they killed?) Claiming the anyone there fighting those governments was a Communist is false history and just plain dumb. It put us on the side of dictators.

B) It was against the law for Reagan to invade Nicaragua and a violation of the Bolan Amendment. Here's a clue for you: When someone breaks a law they are acting corruptly.

That's kind of what "corrupt" means.

AlphaLiberal said...

Alpha, conservatives, especially Reagan conservatives don't need advice from you

You don't have much need for facts, either.

shoutingthomas said...

I'll take that kind of corruption any day, Alpha.

The choices weren't absolute purity versus something else.

The choice was to defeat communists.

The problem with you, Alpha, is that you secretly want the commies to win.

You aren't very good at hiding this moral defect.

I am a sinner, too. I was once taken in by the vicious, evil lure of communism. I understand quite well the process of rationalization you're employing.

Joe said...


Conservatives place a high premium on being anti-science, anti-scholar and pro-ignorance.
Get back to me after you examine Deep Ecology, Global Warming, and Genetically Modified Foods, not to mention the whole New Age phenomena....

Joe said...


The government regimes in those countries were brutal and murderous (remember the US Nuns they killed?) Claiming the anyone there fighting those governments was a Communist is false history and just plain dumb.


Funny the FMLN WAS Communist, but hey what do I know?

AlphaLiberal said...

Reagan would be run out of the Republican Party today.

More evidence: Conservative Republican Bob Bennett was just voted out in the Republican Primary. Bob Bennett is probably more conservative than Ronald Reagan.

And Reagan was even more cooperative with Democrats, such as Tip O'Neill, than Bob Bennett has been.

Regan also had the corrupt HUD scandal.

shoutingthomas said...

Alpha, you're facts are the usual commie propaganda.

War is terrible, no doubt about it.

Would you like me to recite some of the atrocities committed by the commies in Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador?

Propping up martyrs is the classic propaganda technique of the Marxist.

You're good at it.

William said...

Every major Presidential historian of that era probably voted for Stevenson over Eisenhower. Every major Presidential historian of our era would agree that Eisenhower did a lot of things right and was, perhaps, the better choice......It is passing strange that academic historians who study the folly of previous generations have no insight nor for that matter even curiousity, about their own follies and prejudices.

Joe said...

Conservative Republican Bob Bennett was just voted out in the Republican Primary. Bob Bennett is probably more conservative than Ronald Reagan.

That would be the Bob Bennett that voted for TARP, even though his constituents OPPOSED TARP? That would be teh Bob Bennett who's bi-partisan healthcare plan included an INDIVIDUAL MANDATE? But who then turned around and joined in a suit, disparaging and opposing the Individual Mandate in ObamacCare, right?

AlphaLiberal said...

Funny the FMLN WAS Communist, but hey what do I know?

I doubt you know much about the situation or have been to El Salvador. I have.

The FMLN is still active, they are a major political party today and the President is of the party.

Are you saying that El Salvador is Communist today?

You probably don't even know what "Communist" means.

AC245 said...

Conservatives place a high premium on being anti-science, anti-scholar and pro-ignorance.

If this were true, AlphaLiberal, then conservatives would hold you and your piped-in talking points in very high regard.

AlphaLiberal said...

ShoutingThomas:

Alpha, you're facts are the usual commie propaganda.

Now I'm a Commie?

What a bunch of fucking idiots.

GMay said...

So what were the criteria for determining intellect here? They're obviously not based on academic records. Extemporaneous speaking? Definitely not that.

Considering FDR ranked #1, that outta tell ya the skew of those polled.

Oh yeah, and this laughably false bit:

"Bush got docked for saddling Obama with two bloody wars and a recession, and he got low marks for "ability to compromise, foreign policy
accomplishments and intelligence,"


Three out of Four flat out wrong, with One only being technically correct but ironically nuance-free from the side that prays at the altar of nuance.


Something tells me that this list of 238 so-called "scholars" is about as credible as the list of 2500 so-called "scientists" the IPCC liked to trot out.

c3 said...

t seems to me that people will vote predominantly for the President in the party with which they associate.

I debated between Clinton and Reagan. I was thinking longer term impact.

Joe said...


The FMLN is still active, they are a major political party today and the President is of the party.

Are you saying that El Salvador is Communist today?
they were violent LEFTIST Party AL, do YOU know what "communist" is?

GMay said...

So much bullshit from BetaLib, so little time.

I'll just hit this little gem about Bob Bennett - since you're just tossing out the idea that today's Republican party is "hyper conservative" with absolutely no evidence whatsoever, let me just ask you - do you think the Republican party voted out Bennett?

(Your answer, should you choose to attempt it, will provide much entertainment)

mccullough said...

I think Reagan did a better job as President from January 1981 to January 1989 than FDR did from March 1933 to January 1941.

The economy sucked in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but Reagan's policies helped turn it around. FDR's policies helped cut unemployment from 25% to 12%, but then unemployment rose to 18% by 1938, and the Democrats got slaughtered in the mid-term elections.

The fact that FDR is ranked ahead of Lincoln and Washington is a joke.

c3 said...

pro-ignorance.

You betcha!!

So Alpha, which is it:
1) Reagan head of evil, corrupt empire

-OR-

2) Reagan, wouldn't even BE a Republican today!

DIYDDIYD

shoutingthomas said...

Yes, Alpha, you're a commie and you don't know it.

Commies never think they're commies.

They always think they've discovered something new. Commies rename their ideology every decade or so in the hope that it will become something different.

So, yes, Alpha. You are a commie. You just don't know it.

gk1 said...

Well reading this "poll" of "scholars" is just entertainment like reading the daily horoscope. They have little basis in reality. I mean how can anyone grade obama after just 18 months in office? Being charitable we have to give obama an incomplete or a gentlemen's D- (or if you must press for a grade)

Lem said...

Update.. there is hope for men kind.. as of one minute ago Carter had only one vote.

Maybe the world will not end via global warming ;)

Bill said...

How is it possible for Harding to have been stupider than Bush?

Sheepman said...

Seems like a lame poll to me. Some of the criteria they are using such as intelligence, imagination, experience and family background are perhaps indicators of likely performance as president but are not what a president should be judged on once in office. It's sort of like judging a baseball hitter on potential instead of how he actually hits.

Moose said...

Tripe and twaddle...

Christoph said...

"Reagan would be run out of the Republican Party today."

In a lot of places you may be right, AlphaLiberal, but not in California.

So of what practical value is your thesis? It doesn't show any difference between now and then.

Yes, there are differences and I think many of them are as you state. But it has little to do with Reagan.

Rialby said...

The soft bigotry of low expectations...

Joe said...

"Reagan would be run out of the Republican Party today."

No he'd be advocating standing up to Iran and the DPRK, supporting School Vouchers, Lowered Taxes, and a Privitized Social Security....and still being excoriated as an evil dunce, by folks like you.

Lem said...

George W. Bush is at 39th place: "a steep drop from 23rd place, which is where Bush ranked when he entered the survey after his first year in office."

Interesting that should we get attacked by Al Qaeda (an event we could scarcely blame Bush for) that poll number would (I put money on it) do significantly.. say over 50% better... safe bet!

Polls are relative to how we feel.. they do not measure real life on the ground.. they are more about what we believe.. they are more about what Crack complains about..

Lets face it.. when we are polled we are more likely to think about Oprah than Obama or anything else!

exhelodrvr1 said...

Can we see a graph of how these "scholars" voted in Presidential elections?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Crap you didn't give me a choice for Truman! In any case I'd rate them

Reagan
Truman
Eisenhower

After that, none of 'em have been all that good, and a few -- Carter, Obama, Nixon -- have been just plain terrible.

edutcher said...

Voted for Ronnie. Reagan did a lot of things that weren't as great as the Hannitys of the world want to believe, but anyone who remembers 1974 knows Reagan did a lot of good.

AlphaLiberal said...

Let's not forget the Reagan Administration was deeply corrupt, from Ed Meese to trading arms to Iran for hoatages, to running an illegal war in Central America with purloined funds.

It's called covert operations in the interest of national security and every President, with the exceptions of Bucketmouth and The Zero, engaged in them.

Ronald Reagan also blamed Jimmy Carter into his second term for the lousy economy under Reagan.

Don't recall the stuff about the second term, but double digit inflation, unemployment, and interest rates was a big hurdle to clear.

And as Lindsey Graham and other Republicans have noted, Ronald Reagan could not win a primary in today's hyper-conservative Republican Party.

I just knew one of the National Socialists would end up quoting the Demos' most reliable Republican.

A) The government regimes in those countries were brutal and murderous (remember the US Nuns they killed?) Claiming the anyone there fighting those governments was a Communist is false history and just plain dumb. It put us on the side of dictators.

As opposed to Danny Ortega, bragging how he was going to subvert every country in Central America?

And he was, and is, a Communist. Fidel's best bud back then.

PS One kid recruit at one checkpoint acting on his own killed those nuns.

B) It was against the law for Reagan to invade Nicaragua and a violation of the Bolan Amendment. Here's a clue for you: When someone breaks a law they are acting corruptly.

Hate to say it, but the Boland Amendment was an administrative resolution, it had no standing as law. And when did we invade Nicaragua?

Oh, yeah, the Wilson Administration.

PS The Zero is breaking the law by refusing to deport illegals. Let's all denounce the current administration as corrupt.

Chip Ahoy said...

My arse is a scholar.

Lem said...

Then again.. Because we are likely to think of Oprah reason numero uno Obama became el presidente.

We are unlikely to own up to it..

Its my gut feeling and I´m sticking to it!

Adam said...

Not that the distinguished and highly specialized field of presidential scholarship needs any defending, but much of the fault for this absurd article belongs to (surprise!) the editor who wrote the headline. The poll respondents were specifically asked to rank presidents on personal traits, not on their overall performance in office.

Of course, the fact that these distinguished scholars felt free to rank every president according to "integrity, intelligence, leadership and willingness to take risks as well as things they have little control over, like luck," doesn't give me much confidence in their judgment, unless the modal reply in most cases was "How the fuck should I know?"

This particular group of scholars has really got to consult with the group of other scholars who tell us that there's no such thing as a distinct, measurable "intelligence."

John said...

If there is something more worthless than a "Presidential scholar" I don't know what it would be. It would take a staggering ignorance of American history to rank Obama in the top 30 US Presidents of all time let alone 15. Of course they are not staggeringly ignorant just staggeringly dishonest.

BJK said...

Obama got high marks for intelligence, ability to communicate and imagination

His imagination....or those of the presidential scholars surveyed?

Dead Julius said...

I voted for the most virtuous.

By that measure, the correct choice is Bush the First.

Sad to see that so few of you agree.

Lem said...

Obama es el resultado de la Concupiscencia Americana.

We brought it on ourselves (in other words ;)

c3 said...

The poll respondents were specifically asked to rank presidents on personal traits, not on their overall performance in office.

That's not making me feel a whole helluva a lot better about this poll.

I'm just wondering if this poll was done by Research 2000.

Joe said...

I voted for the most virtuous.

By that measure, the correct choice is Bush the First.


Were I a Shi’i in Basra or a Kurd in Mosul I might dispute your statement on “virtue”, unless you see a virtue in encouraging rebellion and then abandoning it.

A.W. said...

The poll also said that Bill Clinton was the 13th best president, ever.

Yes, really.

sorry, but if a president is impeached, he then goes immediately to the bottom half. now for an impeached president, clinton was frankly one of the better ones. mind you, i disliked much of what he stood for but compare him to obambi, for instance. Obama wasn't impeached, but who do you think would have done a better job on the oil spill?

But obambi is straight up awful. he might turn it around, but he is awful.

So bluntly, the poll is just plain wrong.

I would add that much of what is being looked at in the poll is irrelevant.

Like i have been big on talking about Obama's lack of experience. But lacking administrative experience is not properly part of how we rank him as a president. Abraham Lincoln was hands down our greatest president, and he wasn't even a senator before getting the job. Obama is actually better in that regard, but at the same time, Lincoln was hands down a better president.

Now, mind you, i will say that Obambi's lack of experience going in was a predictor that he would be an awful president, and it might be one of the REASONS why he is an awful president. But the issue should how good a job he is actually doing, not about a single thing that happened before he took that oath of office.

As for Lincoln, why was he good? I think two things. First, the government was not as massive then, so it was easier for a novice to get ahold fo the situation. and second, i think we got really lucky. i think Lincoln had this untapped, latent management gene in him that just leapt into life when he took that oath. I hoped and prayed we would be similarly lucky with obambi, but of course that hasn't happened so far. and again, it is a tougher job than it was in 1860. I mean this is a bit like taking a kid who can't even ride a bicycle yet, and asking him to drive in the Indy 500. its a bit much.

btw, are these people on the nobel committee, too? it might explain alot.

A.W. said...

ugh, its even worse than that.

Carter was ranked below Nixon.

Nixon only quit because he was about to be impeached and almost certainly would have been convicted and removed from office. as terrible as i consider Carter to be as president, Nixon is much, much worse.

Calypso Facto said...

People whose standard of living depends on government spending think the guy who has increased government spending by $1 Trillion in 18 months is smart? Shocker! What next? A poll of AFSCME employees?

The Crack Emcee said...

I think I made my vote clear - here.

bagoh20 said...

Just ask yourself about great accomplishments that are truly long term and related to the power a President actually has as leader of such a dominant nation. The U.S. is a small part of their influence. The economy is pretty much beyond their control in my opinion, other than things they push for, but that require congress to make happen.

I think of things like freeing people in large numbers, ending their oppression, turning large parts of the world in a different, better direction.

This leaves me with only W. and Reagan. The accomplishments of the rest were tiny or short lived.

Lem said...

If I was asked to rank presidents I would put Nixon up top.

Reagan did have the balls (although maybe he could not have foreseen it so soon) to fight a cold war with a strategery to win.

One and two.. Nixon and Reagan were the last American presidents with major league balls.

bagoh20 said...

"The poll respondents were specifically asked to rank presidents on personal traits, not on their overall performance in office."

Well that explains it, and begs the question who cares what these people think of the Presidents' personal traits. It not even worth publishing such gossip.

bagoh20 said...

"Reagan would be run out of the Republican Party today."

Your criticisms sound like adoration, Alpha, so I take it you voted for him. He seems to have championed your agenda pretty well.

Tregonsee said...

More proof that scholars and intellectuals, like fire, make good servants and poor masters.

garage mahal said...

I hate scholars.

shoutingthomas said...

Wow!

87% for the Gipper!

I'm impressed. The readers of this blog are far more discerning that I imagined.

I take it personal, since I'm a native Illinoisan. The Gipper is my homeboy.

DADvocate said...

I guess we've had some really suck ass presidents then.

I give Obama nothing on imagination. He's simply a carbon copy of the liberal/socialist agenda that has been spouted for several decades. He hasn't even been imaginative in his lies which have been obvious and more of the same too.

Darcy said...

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...... *deep breath* hahahahahahaHA!

That's all.

DADvocate said...

Conservatives place a high premium on being anti-science, anti-scholar and pro-ignorance.

Like when the Clinton White House had the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists change the language in its report on partial birth abortion because the science didn't support their point of view?

This comment by a psychoanalyst about patients applies quite well to you and FLS.

Some patients have a talent for introspection and reflection; others use their intellectual abilities to set up all sorts of impediments to the treatment with an unconscious goal of defeating the Analyst and insuring that they do not change. Complex and sophisticated rationalizations comprise some of the most intractable defenses.

AJ Lynch said...

LOL.LMAO. Darcy wins the thread!

John Lynch said...

I'm trying to figure out what Obama has done to get him up that high. Help me out.

John Lynch said...

Oh wait, it's not about anything they actually did. So who cares?

blake said...

Somebody's auditioning for First Fluffer.

wv--oh, you've got to be kidding me--"scrudyn". lol

Revenant said...

I can see Democrats preferring one of their own to Reagan. But what kind of maniac rates Obama more highly than Clinton?

By what standard? Marital fidelity?

Henry said...

Revenant -- Good call. Proximity bias, I would say. I voted for Clinton myself after flipping a coin between him and Reagan.

The Reagan, GWH Bush, Clinton run looks better and better.

Tim Morris said...

Harry Truman, for God's sake!

Henry said...

Meanwhile, I wonder where Obama ranks in the list of Nobel Peace Prize winners. He's a few notches above Arafat, anyway.

Comrade X said...

Barack Obama is the 44th best president, but I think he'll go lower in time.

Trooper York said...

I wish some of more "mature" commenters would share their memories of their favortite Presidents.

I mean what was Martin Van Buren really like hd?

dbp said...

As Glenn Reynolds might say, "More rubes self-identify".

dbp said...

The scholars, I mean. Of course.

Original Mike said...

"as terrible as i consider Carter to be as president, Nixon is much, much worse."

There are worse things than being a crook. Especially in the Oval Office.

Coach Sal said...

I've got no problem with ranking folks high or low based on actual accomplishments, regardless of my agreement with their ideology. FDR, for example, ought to be top three. Reagan deserves to be top ten, in the same category as a Truman or Ike. I'm even mostly OK with the biased lists put together by folks like the Schlesingers, especially considering the source. But any poll on the presidency that puts both Clinton AND Obama (hell, even LBJ!) above Reagan is farsical on its face. I especially love the fact that 8 presidents (including Hoover and GWB) get ranked below William Henry Harrison. I guess they would have been better had they dropped dead immediately after their elections...?

bagoh20 said...

I know Nixon was pretty paranoid, but is it really unlikely that most other administrations do or did similar extremes for the sake of damage control. It's major league ball and administrations seem devoid of limits when it comes to preserving themselves.

john said...

You were born in 1976, Ann?

I like Ike.

GMay said...

"I mean what was Martin Van Buren really like hd?"

Put a "Monitor Protection Warning" on that shit next time Trooper, DAMN!

Roger J. said...

presidential "scholars?"

what darcy said.

Kirby Olson said...

Greatest is difficult to measure: I'd like a precise criterion.

Who was the shortest? Tallest? Knew the greatest number of languages? Had the most girlfriends? Read the most books? Was the best athlete? Fattest? Skinniest?

Which one got to be oldest?

Which died the youngest?

On things like that, there can be a consensus. Otherwise, I'm not interested in all the spin of the communist bureaucrats!

I voted for W.

Jake said...

Silent Cal!

Cedarford said...

AW - "Nixon only quit because he was about to be impeached and almost certainly would have been convicted and removed from office. as terrible as i consider Carter to be as president, Nixon is much, much worse."

I think the criteria should be more about competence and leaving office with America better than when you entered office. Not some "Rule of Law" fetish.

If you are a Rule of Law over any consideration kinda guy, AW, you would also have to lump John Adams, Andrew Jackson, Lincoln, Grant, Harding, FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, and Clinton down with Nixon. All engaged in similar "law-breaking" to Nixons.

The fact that lawyers and opposition politicians "got" Nixon and Clinton but "failed to bring Adams, Jackson, Lincoln, FDR, LBJ to justice" is just power politics at work.
**************
ON Ann's list which omits Nixon and previous Presidents - who left the country better off for their time?
Worse off?

That would be Reagan and Clinton as leaving us better off. (Both may tarnish over time - Reagan for the long-term damage he did with voodoo economics and free trade absolutism..)
GH Bush would be a draw - he was so concerned about international affairs he neglected domestic problems.
Worse off? Jimmy, Dubya, and Black Messiah.
Their order TBD. I do know that Carter would be even lower if Reagan hadn't wielded a good shovel in cleaning up the Carter mess.
Whereas Obama coming in to repair Bush's immense damage is like Nero coming in to addresss Caligula's mess.

Trooper York said...

I always rank Presidents based on
how they treated their pets!

Michael said...

If we all agree to vote him number one and to put his face on Rushmore will he agree to retire early?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Wow- President Obama has gotten 44 votes. I didn't realize you had that many readers in the 0-17 month demographic

Chase said...

Iran-Contra, anyone?

Yes, I'll take it for 400, AL!

Seriously - what was wrong with it?

I'll be fair with this disclaimer: BE careful my friend - this time the trap is set to illustrate hypocrisy like you've not seen in a while.

So - what exactly was wrong with Reagan wanting to arm the Contras and defeat the Communists?

DADvocate said...

There are worse things than being a crook.

One of those things was Nixon's use of the Silent Majority meme to pit the U.S population against itself, "splitting" as a person with borderline personality disorder would do. Aside from corruption and dragging out Vietnam, Nixon hurt the psyche of the country tremendously. As my neighbor who donated $25 to re-elect said, it was "the f*cking he ever got."

Unfortunately, current day left wingers have adopted Nixon's borderline tactics.

Revenant said...

Conservative Republican Bob Bennett was just voted out in the Republican Primary. Bob Bennett is probably more conservative than Ronald Reagan.

Bob Bennett isn't even more conservative than Reagan was back when Reagan was a Democrat. But sure, politics change. Democrats today would label FDR, Truman, Johnson, and JFK as neocon extremists for their foreign policy views, for example.

Revenant said...

One of those things was Nixon's use of the Silent Majority meme to pit the U.S population against itself

I have to strongly disagree with you, there.

Yes, Nixon was a horrible President for a host of different reasons. But he was right about the silent majority, and his election results prove it. The mainstream media loathed him and his policies, but the voters supported them in '68 and '72.

dbp said...
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dbp said...

These scholars are going to look like idiots in 30 years (or less). Obama will be seen the way Carter is now, if he is lucky.

Fen said...

238 Hacks said what?

*yawn*

Cedarford said...

DADvocate - "Nixon's use of the Silent Majority meme to pit the U.S population against itself, "splitting" as a person with borderline personality disorder would do. Aside from corruption and dragging out Vietnam, Nixon hurt the psyche of the country tremendously. As my neighbor who donated $25 to re-elect said, it was "the f*cking he ever got."


My read on those events from my reading is that the Left split the nation in the LBJ years, and all Nixon's Silent Majority did was acknowledge what the Left had already done in dividing America by race, class, and ideology..

Remember that it was a far more pro-communist, anti-American Left than at present. Alger Hiss was innocent, the Rosenbergs were persecuted. Hard Left Jews truly did control the MSM.

Nixon had too many accomplishments and did too many things and was elected by too great a landslide to argue he "gravely hurt the pysche of the country".

Cedarford said...

Last thing on Nixon - if you could come up with a "Vintage 1971" clone of Nixon with all his gifts and flaws, he would have been elected President in 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008.
As better than the alternatives.

Joe said...

Any "scholar" that puts FDR first and Andrew Johnson last is a moron. James Buchanan is the worse president by a huge margin.

DADvocate said...

My read on those events from my reading is that the Left split the nation in the LBJ years, and all Nixon's Silent Majority did was acknowledge what the Left had already done in dividing America by race, class, and ideology..

I didn't read about it, I lived it. During the LBJ years, the left was a fringe group with a few enclaves in the northeast and west coast. The left was an oddity that 90% of the country looked at with disdain.

The country slowly became increasingly divided over the Vietnam War as sons, nephews, friends and neighbor's sons died. But it wasn't necessarily along left/right lines. Part of Nixon's platform in 1968 was to bring an end to the war.

Nixon was a paranoid, pompous jerk. He lacked warmth and congeniality. The arrogant Spiro Agnew made things worse. Their use of the politics of divisiveness and the harm it caused still lingers today. Nixon is probably responsible for much of the hostility between the left and right that exists today.

On the other hand, Nixon was more competent than Obama is.

John Lynch said...

Who voted for Carter? Man up.

John Lynch said...

And Nixon was terrible. He lost Vietnam, destroyed faith in government, and never met a law he wouldn't break.

John Lynch said...

Iran-Contra was covered in an odd way by the media.

What bothered most people was that we were giving arms to Iran, an enemy. The Iranians had held our guys hostage and had blown up the Marines in Lebanon. Arming people who wanted to kill us was... very strange to say the least.

What was covered, constantly, was the Contras. Most Americans were unmoved by sending guns to fight Communists. It just did not bother most people.

So, Reagan mostly got away with it.

bagoh20 said...

"Who voted for Carter? Man up."

Here! It was my first vote. Like most firsts, it was a learning experience. I'm much better now.

LoafingOaf said...

I don't know where Obama ranks, and it's far to early to even discuss. But I do know that Bush was the worst president of modern times, and probably the worst ever. He left office with the country on the brink of total economic collapse, and in foreign quagmires that he completely bungled as Commander in Chief.

Revenant said...

Hard Left Jews truly did control the MSM.

What a load of bullshit.

Revenant said...

Nixon is probably responsible for much of the hostility between the left and right that exists today.

Meanwhile, back in reality, by the time Nixon took office in 1969 left-wing activists had already assassinated two of the previous 12 Presidents for being too conservative, and had tried to assassinate two others. Anyone who thinks left/right strife is a modern phenomenon has never read a US history book.

Revenant said...
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Revenant said...

But I do know that Bush was the worst president of modern times, and probably the worst ever.

Which is why nobody takes you seriously when you pretend to be an independent. :)

Take foreign quagmires, for example. How about, oh... the Korean War. 34,000 dead (that's eight times the body count from both of "Bush's wars") and sixty years later we're still waiting for the situation to be resolved.

Or the Vietnam war, with twelve times the body count, bungled handling by Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon -- oh, and a nasty recession following right after. And that's just in the second half of the 20th century!

Heck, Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor fuckup alone killed nearly as many US troops as the entire war on terror. Then there's Wilson's handling of WWI, which killed scads of Americans and did nothing but set the stage for Hitler and Stalin to come to power. Etc, etc.

Kev said...

And Reagan was even more cooperative with Democrats, such as Tip O'Neill, than Bob Bennett has been.

If more Congressional Democrats were of the same quality as Tip O'Neill, there would be a lot more bipartisanship these days. In O'Neill's time, R's and D's would argue back and forth during the daily sessions and then go have a beer together afterwards. You don't see much of that happening anymore.

For that matter, if W. had been able to deal with the same type of Democrats in Washington as president as he did in Austin as governor, his time in office would have been much more effective. (In fact, one of Bush's biggest mentors as a new governor was the Democrat Lt. Governor, Bob Bullock, who often told members of the Texas Senate to leave their politics at the door. If only the current "leadership" in Congress were people of this quality...

Mick said...

Obama is a putative President. He is Usurping the office and is not a Natural Born Citizen. His father was Kenyan and imparted dual citizenship upon Obama at birth due to the British Nationality Act of 1948. Obama 2 was born a British subject, and may still be one to this day.
Natural Born Citizens are born with no allegiance to any other foreign power. They are born in the US of US Citizen parents (both).
Amazingly, a Law prof with a large platform (Althouse) fails to stand up for the Constitution. Is she afraid of the "birther" insult? Has she been told to shut up? Or is she as ignorant of the Constitution as most lawyers?

rdkraus said...

Late to the game.

Laughed when I looked at that list.

No great Presidents there.

One good one, and the blog's readers picked him out.

Reagan wasn't perfect by any means, but who knew I would miss him this much?

rdkraus said...

Oh, and this is why you can't take modern "historians" seriously.

They often have the Friedman defect. Lots of knowledge and facts, and reliably come up with the wrong answer.

DADvocate said...

Who voted for Carter? Man up.

That marks the first election I voted for a third party candidate. I can't remember who, someone who sounded libertarian. Basically, I was telling the Dems/Repubs that if they wanted my vote they needed someone better. Instead, with the exception of Reagan in retrospect whom I didn't vote for either, they kept coming up with worse candidates. The I felt I needed to vote for one bad candidate to try to make the worse candidate lose.

jgm said...

I'll man up (down, rather) and admit I voted for Carter. Twice. And like Bagoh the first time was the first election I was eligible.

Much worse, because by then I knew (or should have known) better, I voted for Gore. I'm smarter now, I tell people. They pretend to believe me.

Tea Bag Me said...

Are Mick and Shoutingthomas shacking up together?

Milwaukee said...

Hey I won a free dinner on that survey: local radio station asked what that survey proved? My answer: that academics are leftist socialist nut jobs.

So, Presidents in our lifetimes? What about Lyndon Baines Johnson, Richard Milhouse Nixon, and Gerald Rudolph Ford? I would peg Reagan above them all for his efforts in turning around the economy and attempting to stifle public sector unions. But Gerald Ford deserves our respect and gratitude. He sacrificed his chances at a second term by pardoning Nixon. Right or wrong, that put that sordid part of our history behind us so that we could move forward. Hello! A professional, career politician put his country ahead of his career. We owe him our deepest thanks.

Robert Cook said...

"But Gerald Ford deserves our respect and gratitude. He sacrificed his chances at a second term by pardoning Nixon. Right or wrong, that put that sordid part of our history behind us so that we could move forward. Hello! A professional, career politician put his country ahead of his career. We owe him our deepest thanks."

Ford may have been personally very decent, but his pardon of Nixon was a terrible act. It has led to the decades of Republican skullduggery and corruption since, not to mention the degradation of both parties into scarcely distinguishable Mafia families. It has also led to the wretched decision by Obama to give a pass to even investigation the myriad crimes and war crimes of the Bush administration, which itself featured some of Nixon's swinish crew.

Of the Presidents listed, I can only give my vote to the one who killed or caused to be killed the fewest number of people around the globe, and, unless some revelations await, that would have to be Carter.

But, frankly, none of these men deserve remembrance or regard, and Reagan's beatification by the ignorant far and wide is clear evidence that the evil that men do is not merely interred with their bones but is transformed by posterity into hallowed miracles.

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