Today I was going to insert along between the stories the breakdown of the latest study (by C-Span) on who the best president was of all time. But I think this is worth a post all its own upon reflection. I figure with a bunch of eggheads doing it, it might be good for a few laughs.
CATEGORY 1: Public persuasion
Top Five: FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, Lincoln, Washington, Reagan. I can live with this list.
Bottom five (worst first): Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Pierce, Fillmore, Tyler.
That bottom list includes two Presidents that were finishing the terms of dead predecessors; both guys on either side of Lincoln , who didn't have much of a chance even had they been competent; and Franklin Pierce, the man without a chin. Note that none of them had the advantage of mass media.
CATEGORY 2: Crisis leadership
Top five: Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Truman, Teddy Roosevelt. I agree with the top 4, but what crisis came up during the TR administration? The worst things that happened were the assassination of McKinley that put him in office, and his picking of Taft to succeed him.
Bottom five: Hoover, Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Pierce, and Van Buren. While I think Hoover got kind of a bad rap, nonetheless the Great Depression was on his plate. I think we understand by now Buchanan might be the biggest loser of the bunch; got to admit Van Buren is a head scratcher, though. He just wasn't the fighter needed to hold ground against the enemies of Jackson before him. And he got stuck with a depression too. They called it a Panic back then.
CATEGORY 3: Economic Management
Top five: Washington, Lincoln, Clinton, TR, and FDR. Clinton, all I'll say is you really love him or you really hate him. The rest of the list, I'm beginning to wonder if these guys are just saying, "This ain't my area of expertise, let me vote for the big names." FDR might be able to fit this category, but also should get votes for "economically screwing the future."
Bottom five: Hoover, Buchanan, Pierce, Van Buren, Tyler. That expertise comment also applies to the Low Three of Buchanan, Pierce and Tyler.
CATEGORY 4: Moral authority (this oughtta be good...)
Top five: Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Eisenhower, TR. FDR says, "Never you mind about that Lucy Mercer thing."
Bottom five: Buchanan, Nixon, Andrew Johnson, Harding, and Pierce.
|Oh, sure, the Democrat can have an affair, but let the REPUBLICAN screw around...|
CATEGORY 5: International relations
Top five: FDR, Washington, Lincoln, TR, and Truman. Two of them too busy to have international relations, two of them who were busy beating the hell from their enemies. And TR, who spoke softly and whupped with a big stick. And Nixon, who broke the cold war with China, gets 10th. #SMH.
Bottom five: Buchanan (because, Buchanan), William Henry Harrison (he was in office for a MONTH, for pity's sake), George W Bush, and a tie between Andrew Johnson and Pierce. On the bright side, at least they didn't have Obama in the top ten (24th).
CATEGORY 6: Administrative skill
Top five: Lincoln, Washington, FDR, TR, and Ike. No real problem here.
Bottom five: Andrew Johnson, Harding, Buchanan, WH Harrison, and Pierce. I see Mr Short Term is the new whipping boy, replacing Tyler. IMHO Harding and Buchanan should have been 1-2.
CATEGORY 7: Relations with Congress (NOTE: If Andrew Johnson and Nixon aren't 1-2 on the bottom, the survey's credibility is officially shot.)
Top five: LBJ, Washington, FDR, TR, Jefferson. I can see this one. LBJ put most of the players in Congress in their places himself.
Bottom five: Andrew Johnson, Buchanan, Tyler, Pierce, and BARACK OBAMA. 'Bout did a spit take on that one. Nixon was 37th, behind the top five and WH Harrison. Really? Harrison? 31 days, dude. He prolly never MET Congress.
CATEGORY 8: Vision/setting an agenda
Top five: The usual suspects- Lincoln, Washington, FDR, TR, Jefferson.
Bottom five: Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Pierce, Harding, and Fillmore. What, no WH Harrison?
CATEGORY 9: Pursued equal justice for all
Top five: Lincoln, LBJ, Obama, Truman, Carter. Jack Kennedy tried to get the civil rights legislation that LBJ put through; Obama had a chance to unite the nation with Ferguson/Baltimore, but played the spin. Not saying carter didn't do something, but what did he do?
Bottom five: Buchanan, Pierce, Tyler, Andrew Johnson, Fillmore. Andrew Johnson was a failed President mainly because he tried to keep the Radical Republicans from exacting revenge on the South, and he's on here. Andrew Jackson nearly annihilated the southern indian tribes and he isn't. Instead of voting the big four all the time, how about using a little thought, guys?
CATEGORY 10: Performance within the context of the times (perhaps the one I can snark the least about)
Top five: Washington, Lincoln, FDR, TR, and Truman.
Bottom five: Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Pierce, Harding, Hoover.
And, the final score?
Top ten: Lincoln, Washington, FDR, TR, Ike, Truman, Jefferson, JFK, Reagan, LBJ.
Bottom ten: Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Pierce, Harding, Tyler, WH Harrison, Fillmore, Hoover, Chester Arthur (new blood!) and Van Buren. Hope you enjoyed!