C-SPAN ranks the Presidents

souvlaki

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C-SPAN surveyed a number of historians, asking them to rank the Presidents on a number of issues, from crisis leadership, to public persuasion, to economic management. The one I'm posting is the overall score. I dunno, figured today is as good a day as any to debate the ranking of the former Presidents.


1.) Abraham Lincoln
2.) George Washington
3.) Franklin D. Roosevelt
4.) Theodore Roosevelt
5.) Harry S. Truman
6.) John F. Kennedy
7.) Thomas Jefferson
8.) Dwight D. Eisenhower
9.) Woodrow Wilson
10.) Ronald Reagan
11.) Lyndon B. Johnson
12.) James K. Polk
13.) Andrew Jackson
14.) James Monroe
15.) Bill Clinton
16.) William McKinley
17.) John Adams
18.) George H. W. Bush
19.) John Quincy Adams
20.) James Madison
21.) Grover Cleveland
22.) Gerald R. Ford
23.) Ulysses S. Grant
24.) William Howard Taft
25.) Jimmy Carter
26.) Calvin Coolidge
27.) Richard M. Nixon
28.) James A. Garfield
29.) Zachary Taylor
30.) Benjamin Harrison
31.) Martin Van Buren
32.) Chester A. Arthur
33.) Rutherford B. Hayes
34.) Herbert Hoover
35.) John Tyler
35.) George W. Bush
37.) Millard Fillmore
38.) Warren G. Harding
39.) William Henry Harrison
40.) Franklin D. Pierce
41.) Andrew Johnson
42.) James Buchanan

http://www.c-span.org/PresidentialSurvey/Economic-Management.aspx


Seems a little unfair to rank William Henry Harrison, although I got a hearty laugh over the fact that there are still a few ranked even lower than him.
 
They usually don't rank William Henry Harrison. I'm surprised they did in this one.
 
They usually don't rank William Henry Harrison. I'm surprised they did in this one.

Yeah, poor guy is at the bottom just because he died. I mean, other than his two hour speech what else can you grade him on?
 
I read the yahoo news article related to this survey and it said that people judged the Presidents and related their issues to the present day problems. That seems entirely subjective to me and seems to negate the whole ranking system.
 
In time I think 35.) George W. Bush will move to the high or middle 20's....
Just my thought...
I think history will actually be a little nicer to him then the people of the time
 
Isn't that always the case though? I don't think the rankings are particularly fair anyway, based on the criteria. Not every president had to face the same difficulties as others, and it's difficult to judge what each would do in different situations. What would George W. Bush do if he were president during the Civil War? How would Lincoln fare if he were president during the Cuban missile crisis? What if Washington were in office during 9-11?
 
Yeah, he didn't get a chance to even do anything...
They should have an * next to him...

Yeah, but could you picture being one of the Presidents below him on the list? That's pretty much the equivalent of saying, "We would have preferred it if you had died your first few months in office".
 
Isn't that always the case though? I don't think the rankings are particularly fair anyway, based on the criteria. Not every president had to face the same difficulties as others, and it's difficult to judge what each would do in different situations. What would George W. Bush do if he were president during the Civil War? How would Lincoln fare if he were president during the Cuban missile crisis? What if Washington were in office during 9-11?

oh absolutely.
 
Yeah, but could you picture being one of the Presidents below him on the list? That's pretty much the equivalent of saying, "We would have preferred it if you had died your first few months in office".

HAH...yeah, that would be a little bad.
 
Grant shouldn't be listed above Nixon. Nixon did some pretty good things for this country but unfortunately the man was a victim of his own paranoia
 
Grant shouldn't be listed above Nixon. Nixon did some pretty good things for this country but unfortunately the man was a victim of his own paranoia

Absolutely.
 
Grant shouldn't be listed above Nixon. Nixon did some pretty good things for this country but unfortunately the man was a victim of his own paranoia

I actually was kind of surprised Carter was above Nixon. I'm not a big fan of Nixon, but he was a better President than Carter.
 
Accomplishments are one thing... how one conducts himself is another. Nixon accomplished a lot as president, but he also managed to disgrace the office he held and impose a cynicism of government onto the American people which didn't really subside until Reagan was President.
 
I actually was kind of surprised Carter was above Nixon. I'm not a big fan of Nixon, but he was a better President than Carter.

Correct, but "Watergate" will always linger over any of the good Nixon did for the United States. I've always found Nixon as a man as well as a leader to be rather fascinating.
 
Yeah, poor guy is at the bottom just because he died. I mean, other than his two hour speech what else can you grade him on?

He died because of his two hour speech, so I think that's enough.
 
Accomplishments are one thing... how one conducts himself is another. Nixon accomplished a lot as president, but he also managed to disgrace the office he held and impose a cynicism of government onto the American people which didn't really subside until Reagan was President.

Yeah, I could agree with that. The overall rating I'm assuming took into account not only accomplishments, but also influence, and conduct, which probably put Nixon farther down on the list. Being the first President to resign under suspicious circumstances probably knocked him down a good ten spots in the ranking.
 
I have always found it odd that people care more about Watergate than Japanese Prison Camps.
 
He died because of his two hour speech, so I think that's enough.

:lmao: I probably shouldn't be laughing about the death of a President, but seriously... a two hour speech in the dead of winter, and then walking to the White House while it's snowing. Kind of begs the question, "what the hell were you thinking?"
 
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It really is amazing that George Washington is arguably the best President we ever had.
 
It really is amazing that George Washington is arguably the best President we ever had.

Well, he set an example for all future Presidents. He could have chosen to be the equivalent of King of the US, but instead he chose to step down after two terms. That alone puts him toward the top of the list.
 
In time I think 35.) George W. Bush will move to the high or middle 20's....
Just my thought...
I think history will actually be a little nicer to him then the people of the time

He's #36 actually. I messed up the numbering, and edited my post because I screwed up somewhere along the way when I realized I had numbered 43 Presidents, when in fact there have only been 42 excluding Obama. I guess I forgot to edit Bush's ranking.
 
Reagan is in the TOP TEN??? :huh:
 
Reagan is in the TOP TEN??? :huh:

I don't agree with it, but I'd assume his stock will go down once a little more time has passed. Personally, I think Lyndon Johnson was a much better President.
 

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