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Pres. scholars: Obama ranks very high


Embrace the Suck
I've seen rankings like this before and actually have I think it's 3 books on different presidential rankings.

Most of these "experts" are history and poly sci profs, liberal arts in other words, from different colleges and universities. I would guess about 80% of them would characterize themselves as left or liberal or Democrat. I'm sorry, Tucker, it makes for an intersting read, like I said I have about 3 books on ranking them, but they're just opinions.

For example, I consider FDR to amongst the worst if not the worst president we ever have. His economic policies, never mind his complete disregard for the Constitution, were absolute failures that haunt us to this day. Most of these brown sport wearing experts with the patch on the elbow would classify him as one of the best. Of course I don't put too much stock in the opinions of those who have spent most of their lives in academia rather than the real world, but I'll say it again, it makes for an interesting read...to say the least.
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Living in Ikoria
Staff member
I do agree with putting President G.W. Bush in the bottom five, which people probably wouldn't be surprised to hear from me. I also do admit that I'm no Presidential historian and that other than recognizable names I don't know a lot about how well all of the Presidents did or didn't do. So I'm not exactly expert in my opinion.

I would agree with putting FDR towards the top of the list, if not in the top spot. The same goes for Lincoln, in my book.

While I don't subscribe to the "we'll let history decide" opinion of grading Presidents, In President Obama's case I just think that it's too early to be accurately grading his performance before his term/terms is/are over. I think that you often need at least a few years after to learn more about how the Presidency of anyone went behind the scenes, etc. Personally, I don't know where I'd rank him because he's done some stuff that I love (health care reform) and some things that I don't like too much (keeping or even expanding on wiretap-like programs).

Basically what I'm trying to say is that with any sitting President you can say what you think of their performance so far, or even where you'd rank them at a given point in time, but a complete appraisal can't be provided until they've at least finished what they're actually being graded on.


Embrace the Suck
Luck is the secret weapon of the liberal scholar:
http://www.siena.edu/uploadedfiles/...research/Presidents 2010 Rank by Category.pdf

How do you explain Reagan is #21 on economy, #23 on domestic issues, and #13 on foreign issues in light of he presided over the most substantial recovery ever, he restored American industry and he ended the cold war?
Answer: He was the 3rd luckiest president ever. Right.
Good point. More wealth was created beginning in 1980 through 2005 than the rest of the time this country has been around combined, most of which can be attributed to Reagan, but he was just lucky:rolleyes:

This is all subjective opinion, "eye of the beholder" if you will. It means nothing. Most of the criteria, if not all, is subjective anyway. It makes for a good read, nothing more, nothing less.


Lion Rampant
Reagan is ranked in the middle of the pack because he belongs there, in my view. Only those who buy the alternative reality of the latter-day Reagan myth would have any kind of problem with that very objective ranking. I credit him with accelerating the end to the Cold War, because Gorbachev acknowledged as much about the Reykjavik talks and the Gipper's refusal to budge, and for presiding over the recovery from the 1982 recession (although Keynesians point out that Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker's policies may deserve more credit than Reagan's own for that turnaround). But that's offset by the terrible Iran-Contra uberscandal where a secret shadow government was being run out of the Pentagon and the President didn't have a clue. It's one of the most shameful moments in American history. Iconically and ideologically, there is none better. But as far as actually steering the bus and owning it, no; he didn't fare all that well.


Embrace the Suck
And only those who buy into the alternate reality myth would place Obama any higher than #30. His administration thus far has quadrupled the national debt, and was so bad it cost his party in the mid-term elections.

But once again, it's all opinion anyway.


not a plastic bag
I'm not trying to get too far off topic, but me thinks Operation Fast and Furious is going to make Iran-Contra look like calling in sick when you're not really.

Anyway, I agree with Unity that its impossible to judge Obama until a few years out. For example, he could come out tomorrow and say I've got a willing Congress, we are going to do the hard things that need to be done: Balanced Budget Amendment, cut spending, reform SS, lower corporate tax, etc... Clinton did a similar move in 94 and while I have little faith, it is a possibility.

For that matter, democracy could spread and reform the Middle East and Bush's stock would rise considerably under a future safe and industrialized Middle East. Doubt that will happen either, but point is when it comes to Obama, Bush Jr. and Clinton there just hasn't been enough time to properly place them.
We've had this exact discussion last year when this came out, but I cannot pull it up because the GF search is down. But just to prove there is some serious bias in the poll, Calvin Coolidge is not listed in the top half of any of the categories. Coolidge inherited a depression. His laissez-faire economic policies lowered income taxes and retired 25% of the national debt. After coming off the racist Wilson administration, he was decades ahead on racial policy for Indians and African-Americans. I would not allow my children to be taught by anyone that didn't at least consider Coolidge to be in the top 50% of the Presidents. Any scholar that thinks otherwise is just an ideologue and is trying to cover up history by downgrading the success of Coolidge.
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