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Author Topic: Presidential Rankings  (Read 33632 times)
Clay
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« on: December 14, 2003, 04:50:23 pm »
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Not really much to do with 2004.... But I ranked the presidents in order, from best to worst.  I ranked them much the same way that CSPAN ranked the presidents a year or two ago.  The categories I based my rankings on were: Public Persuasion, Crisis Leadership, Economic Management, Moral Authority, International Relations, Administrative Skills, Relations With Congress, Vision/Setting an Agenda, Pursued Equal Justice For All, and Performance Within Context of Times.  I gave each president points based on these categories, totaled them up and came up with this list:

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

Any comments?  I'm no historian (though I do have a passion for history, especially presidential history), but I figure I came fairly close to most presidential rankings out there.  It's hard to rank presidents like Taylor, Garfield and Harrison who died too early into their terms to make a fair assessment.  Likewise, it was hard to rank Dubya, seeing as how his term hasn't yet ended.  I tried to be as unbiased as possible; just for note, I used to be a Democrat, and I'm a fan of the old Democrat Party.

Anyone care to make their own list?
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jravnsbo
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2003, 05:06:03 pm »
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Well making a list would take a while, but towards the bottom have to be Warren Harding and Tea Pot Dome scandal.  TAylor would be up a bit as his life experience gets him a nudge over other short term Presidents.

Milliard Fillmore is known as  "do nothing President" and usually is last.


Towards the top you have to have all the founding fathers and Lincoln.  Then in more Moderan times, TR, FDR, Reagan.

Yeah looking over your list I'd say at a glance you have the following WAY too high--

Polk, Wilson, Ford, Arthur--need to move Madison, Jeffereson up (LA Purchase for a big reason if nothign else)

just a few thoughts Smiley  interesting idea though.
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2003, 05:17:52 pm »
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George W. should not be in the top 5 or top 10 even. That's just absurd. In fact he should not even been on the LIST until is Presidency his over. It's best to judge a person's preformance as President AFTER he is President.

And Ronald Reagan as NUMBER ONE?!?!?! What the hell!!

Abraham Lincoln should be number one..followed by FDR as a close number 2.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2003, 05:18:42 pm by Demrepdan »Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2003, 05:34:31 pm »
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5 Best (no particular order):

Reagan (defeated USSR)

Jefferson (wrote Declaration, L. Purchase)

Washington (set an excellent example with retirement after two terms)

Lincoln (kept the Union together, freed the slaves)

T.R. (one of the more brilliant men ever to lead the country, the quintessential American)


5 Worst (no particular order):

LBJ (Great Society disaster, Vietnam quagmire)

Nixon (Watergate, price and wage controls, too soft on USSR)

Clinton (did nothing to respond to terrorist attacks, lied under oath, eight scandal filled years)

Carter (the second most incompetent president of all time)

Kennedy (the most incompetent president of all time)
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jravnsbo
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2003, 05:49:59 pm »
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FDR a close second?  oh boy.  


George W. should not be in the top 5 or top 10 even. That's just absurd. In fact he should not even been on the LIST until is Presidency his over. It's best to judge a person's preformance as President AFTER he is President.

And Ronald Reagan as NUMBER ONE?!?!?! What the hell!!

Abraham Lincoln should be number one..followed by FDR as a close number 2.
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2003, 05:50:33 pm »
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Harding for Tea Pot dome scandal and Grant for corruption by his underlings have to rank low.
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Demrepdan
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2003, 06:10:31 pm »
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FDR a close second?  oh boy.  

You should explain yourself...
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2003, 06:24:07 pm »
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William Henry Harrison made the fewest mistakes.
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Demrepdan
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2003, 06:31:24 pm »
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William Henry Harrison made the fewest mistakes.

He made two that I can think of. He made the longest inagural speech ever and in freezing weather to boot, and he died.

Dying is a BIG mistake.
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2003, 06:52:01 pm »
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I think I would rank Harry Truman higher than he appears on the original list.

While he lacked a real understanding of economics, and pushed hard for left-wing programs that don't work, like price controls and confiscatory taxes against the rich, he had the nads to make a major stand against the Soviet Union, and revolutionized American foreign policy from anything it had been up to that point.

He also broke away from his segragationist southern background to speak up for equal rights for blacks.  I was very impressed with a story that I heard about a soldier who was an American Indian who had been killed in the Korean War.  Because of his background, the cemetery in his local town refused to allow him to be buried there.  Truman was outraged, and had him buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

I think Truman was a pivotal president of the postwar period.
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Clay
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2003, 07:06:09 pm »
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George W. should not be in the top 5 or top 10 even. That's just absurd. In fact he should not even been on the LIST until is Presidency his over. It's best to judge a person's preformance as President AFTER he is President.

And Ronald Reagan as NUMBER ONE?!?!?! What the hell!!

Abraham Lincoln should be number one..followed by FDR as a close number 2.

Well, you're right on one thing at least:  Dubya should not be listed b/c his term isn't up yet.  But, simply enough, I wanted to include all the presidents.  I do crazy things sometimes, I admit, and he'll no doubt rise or fall on my ranking by the end of his presidency.  But as things stand today, he's in my top 10.  That shouldn't be a total shocker.  One of the things I ranked on was Crisis Leadership.  Were you here on 9/11?  FDR and GWB scored extremely high on this category.  Another thing was Moral Authority.  We all know Bush is a devout Christian and at this point in time he has yet to commit any crimes during his presidency or lie to the public or under oath, steal money, kill anyone, or commit adultery.  So he, (as well as Carter, Hoover, Truman, Wilson) scored high on this.

Dubya has managed to alienate the U.S. from a great many other countries.  My personal view is, who cares about France?  But, being unbiased in my ranking, I scored Bush very low on the category of International Relations.

Other categories Bush scored relatively high on are Public Persuasion (remember 9/11 and the lead up to the Battle of Iraq, Thanksgiving Day with the troops, etc.), Administrative Skills, Vision/Setting an Agenda, and Performance Within Context of Times.

Ronald Reagan as number 1.  Again, high ratings on Public Persuasion (the public loved him), Crisis Leadership (Cold War), Econominc Management and a few others.  The Iran/Contra scandal hurt him slightly, but not too much, considering the public never really blamed Reagan for this; they loved him anyway--even (more than) a few Democrats.

Lincoln and FDR, as you'll see made the top 5 on my list (a list that wasn't conducted by a historian or an expert on presidential history, just to note).  FDR came pretty close to beating Reagan actually.  Here's the final score:

1. Reagan=735
2. FDR=720
3. Washington=715
4. Lincoln=700
5. Dubya=675

Bottom Five:
38. W. H. Harrison=280
39. Andrew Johnson=265
40. James Buchanan=250
41. John Tyler=235
42. Franklin Pierce=205

I'm sorry you didn't like my list.  Why not make one of your own?
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2003, 07:27:11 pm »
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Best Presidents? Probably Lincoln, FDR, and Kennedy.

The worst? Most of the recent ones - namely Nixon, Reagan, Pa Bush, and of course the Dumpilator.
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2003, 07:30:44 pm »
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The worst? Most of the recent ones - namely Nixon, Reagan, Pa Bush, and of course the Dumpilator.

....riiiight.
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2003, 07:51:03 pm »
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Here's my list:

1. William J. Clinton
2. Ronald Reagan
3. Abraham Lincoln
4. Thomas Jefferson
5. Theodore Roosevelt
6. George Washington
7. Andrew Jackson
8. Franklin D. Roosevelt
9. William Howard Taft
10. Dwight D. Eisenhower
11. Gerald R. Ford
12. Lyndon B. Johnson
13. Richard M. Nixon
14. Calvin Coolidge
15. Harry S. Truman
16. Jimmy Carter
17. James Polk
18. John F. Kennedy
19. George W. Bush
20. James Monroe
21. William McKinley
22. Woodrow Wilson
23. Chester A. Arthur
24. Benjamin Harrison
25. Rutherford B. Hayes
26. George H. W. Bush
27. Grover Cleveland
28. James A. Garfield
29. Herbert C. Hoover
30. James Madison
31. John Quincy Adams
32. Zachary Taylor
33. Ulysses S. Grant
34. Millard Fillmore
35. John Adams
36. William Henry Harrison
37. Warren G. Harding
38. Franklin Pierce
39. Martin Van Buren
40. Andrew Johnson
41. John Tyler
42. James Buchanan
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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2003, 08:30:27 pm »
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1. FDR
2. T. Roosevelt
3. Lincoln
4. Washington
5. Truman

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42. John Tyler
41.  James Buchanan
40. Herbert Hoover
39. William henry Harrison
38. Ronald Reagan
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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2003, 10:33:46 pm »
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1. George Washington, no question
2. Abe Lincoln
3. FDR
4. Ronald Reagan
5. Teddy Roosevelt

Side note_ I do not include Bush in the rankings because his presidency is still in progress. If he had been shot this morning I would have put him at 5. I expect him to be higher by 2008, If he succeeds in changing the face of the mideast.

Bottom:
38. Jimmy Carter
39. Rutherford B. Hayes
40. Richard Nixon
41. Ulysses S. Grant
42. Warren Harding
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Clay
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« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2003, 10:42:30 pm »
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1. FDR
2. T. Roosevelt
3. Lincoln
4. Washington
5. Truman

-----

42. John Tyler
41.  James Buchanan
40. Herbert Hoover
39. William henry Harrison
38. Ronald Reagan

This is what I tried (and, I think, was successful) to avoid in my own ranking.  Doing a true, unbiased presidential ranking, it would be near impossible to rank Reagan so low.  Republican or Democrat, you have to admit the good he did for the country and for the world.
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« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2003, 10:44:16 pm »
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I still have yet to figure out what supposedly makes Reagan so great.
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« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2003, 10:45:58 pm »
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1. George Washington, no question
2. Abe Lincoln
3. FDR
4. Ronald Reagan
5. Teddy Roosevelt

Side note_ I do not include Bush in the rankings because his presidency is still in progress. If he had been shot this morning I would have put him at 5. I expect him to be higher by 2008, If he succeeds in changing the face of the mideast.

Bottom:
38. Jimmy Carter
39. Rutherford B. Hayes
40. Richard Nixon
41. Ulysses S. Grant
42. Warren Harding


You've had one of the most sensible lists I've read all day. You admit that President Bush's Presidency is not over yet, and thus he cannot be FULLY judge. You also don't have William J. Clinton in your bottom 5 as others do. However, I would argue that George Washington is not the best President, I don't really see what he did to earn that title.

I intend to post MY list soon, however, being the "historian" that I am, I must do some extra research to make sure that my list is not just fluff.
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Clay
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« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2003, 10:48:02 pm »
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I still have yet to figure out what supposedly makes Reagan so great.

You won't be convinced of Reagan's greatness now if you don't already believe he was a great president for the simple fact that you're one of Nader's raiders.

How can an ultra-liberal leaning-socialist see greatness in someone as conservative as Reagan who did so much good for the country?
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« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2003, 10:48:20 pm »
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Bush is undisputably the worst ever.
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« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2003, 10:49:35 pm »
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How can an ultra-liberal leaning-socialist see greatness in someone as conservative as Reagan who did so much good for the country?

Because Reagan didn't do much good for the country.
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Clay
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« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2003, 10:52:40 pm »
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Here's my list:

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

That's an interesting list.  I think it's cool that you including both Clinton and Reagan in the top 5, which shows you at least didn't base your ranking on the president's party and rather what the president accomplished for the country.  While I disagree that Clinton should be ranked so high (b/c of the many scandals that took place during his time as well as the foreign policy failures), and that Nixon beats Dubya, for the most part I think you've got pretty good list.
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Clay
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« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2003, 11:16:22 pm »
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1. George Washington, no question
2. Abe Lincoln
3. FDR
4. Ronald Reagan
5. Teddy Roosevelt

Side note_ I do not include Bush in the rankings because his presidency is still in progress. If he had been shot this morning I would have put him at 5. I expect him to be higher by 2008, If he succeeds in changing the face of the mideast.

Bottom:
38. Jimmy Carter
39. Rutherford B. Hayes
40. Richard Nixon
41. Ulysses S. Grant
42. Warren Harding


You've had one of the most sensible lists I've read all day. You admit that President Bush's Presidency is not over yet, and thus he cannot be FULLY judge. You also don't have William J. Clinton in your bottom 5 as others do. However, I would argue that George Washington is not the best President, I don't really see what he did to earn that title.

I intend to post MY list soon, however, being the "historian" that I am, I must do some extra research to make sure that my list is not just fluff.

I agree that "M" has made a good list here.  I ask why were you so critical of my list when you praised "M's"?  Our lists (at least, our top and bottom 5's) are very similar.

After all, I admitted that Bush's term wasn't up yet and a lot could change; I admitted that he couldn't be "FULLY judged."  I chose to rank Bush, "M" did not but said that if he did, Bush would make the top 5, just as he did in my list.

I didn't have Clinton in my bottom 5, 10 or 15.  Rather, he was right in the middle.

I look forward to your list.  Yes, it takes time to make a *good* list.  I researched each of the presidents, but I confess, I did all of it in just one weekend's time...which doesn't allow for an accurate ranking.  Good luck!
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« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2003, 11:17:07 pm »
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Bush is undisputably the worst ever.

Well I can honestly say, IMHO, you have no idea what you're talking about.
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