Skip to comments.Historians rank Reagan #8 among presidents
Posted on 06/10/2004 8:55:07 AM PDT by Cableguy
More than 3 years old, but still valid. Clinton should go down next time, given his failures on Al Qaeda and North Korea. Reagan will probably move up.
------------------ The Wall Street Journal Survey on Presidents
RANK NAME MEAN GREAT 1 George Washington 4.92 2 Abraham Lincoln 4.87 3 Franklin Roosevelt 4.67 NEAR GREAT 4 Thomas Jefferson 4.25 5 Theodore Roosevelt 4.22 6 Andrew Jackson 3.99 7 Harry Truman 3.95 8 Ronald Reagan 3.81 9 Dwight Eisenhower 3.71 10 James Polk 3.70 11 Woodrow Wilson 3.68 ABOVE AVERAGE 12 Grover Cleveland 3.36 13 John Adams 3.36 14 William McKinley 3.33 15 James Madison 3.29 16 James Monroe 3.27 17 Lyndon Johnson 3.21 18 John Kennedy 3.17 AVERAGE 19 William Taft 3.00 20 John Quincy Adams 2.93 21 George Bush 2.92 22 Rutherford Hayes 2.79 23 Martin Van Buren 2.77 24 William Clinton 2.77 25 Calvin Coolidge 2.71 26 Chester Arthur 2.71 BELOW AVERAGE 27 Benjamin Harrison 2.62 28 Gerald Ford 2.59 29 Herbert Hoover 2.53 30 Jimmy Carter 2.47 31 Zachary Taylor 2.40 32 Ulysses Grant 2.28 33 Richard Nixon 2.22 34 John Tyler 2.03 35 Millard Fillmore 1.91 FAILURE 36 Andrew Johnson 1.65 37 Franklin Pierce 1.58 38 Warren Harding 1.58 39 James Buchanan 1.33
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
Not bad but I would like to see how GW resolves the Iraq situation. Right now GW is about average in my book.
1. George Washington
2. Abraham Lincoln
3. Thomas Jefferson
5. Harry Truman
1 Jimmy Carter.
President Reagan is definitely in my top four. He defeated our biggest foe and in the process helped free millions of Eastern Europeans (FDR sold their future down the river at Malta).
I put the last three Dems to be POTUS (LBJ, Carter, and Clinton) at the bottom. I see a trend.
Always popular. But not every "warrior" President started the wars. Sometimes they just finished them. Quite a few became President after the wars were over.
FDR at Yalta upon handing over half of Europe to the Soviets (when Russia was in rubble and weakened) set the Soviet Union in motion. It would have taken the Russians centuries (if ever) to acquire that much real estate. And your great hero FDR hands it to them on a silver platter. OK you're right FDR should be ranked as the third greatest president BAAARRRFFFFFF!!!!
Perhaps you are right, but I rank the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clarke Expedition (which I am almost certain he commissioned but not absolutely certain as I am writing this), and the abolition of slave trade as extremely significant.
The Louisiana Purchase was a bold act that he (as a strict constructionist) arguably had no right to do. However, it set the table for manifest destiny that dominated 19th century politics and served as the backdrop of many major accomplishments of future administrations.
The Lewis and Clarke commission was a minor thing for someone to commission (not minor to the Lewis and Clarke crew to endure and accomplish, mind you). Whether he had the forethought to realize it's import for the 19th century might be argued, but is is inarguable that it was an extremely significant accomplishment for the future of this nation. Perhaps it compares very favorably to the race to the moon. The accomplishment itself is amazing, of course, but its execution was not the most significant thing. All the things discovered, invented, enhanced, etc., in putting a man on the moon and the propulsion of these things via the private economy to escort us into and beyond the information age is the enduring legacy of the race to the moon. Likewise, most every significant accomplishment of the 19th century traces its roots and owes tribute to the Lewis and Clarke expedition and the Louisiana Purchase.
The abolition of the slave trade was an important act that set him apart from virtually every other 19th century President until Lincoln. Virtually all of them "kicked the can down the road" on this issue until Lincoln. None that I remember even lifted a finger to use the bully pulpit to even try to move public opinion. And according to some Lincoln would like to have done the same but to his everlasting credit (pure motives or not) he did embrace it and abolished the practice of slavery via the civil war.
Again, I am not a scholar and someone more knowledgeable than me may correct me about the slavery issue (it could be that other Presidents indeed did try to do something to help the slaves) or the Lewis and Clarke Expedition commission date, but if I am right I think these accomplishments significantly shaped the 19th century adn beyond for this nation.
What would you say were the things they did that made them great?
FDR has no business being on this list. Neither does Harry Truman. Thomas Jefferson should be number one without a doubt.
There should be 41 names on the list. I can see why William Harrison was left off (died a month after taking office), but who else was left off?
And who was Commander-in-Chief of the American Armed Forces?
We had a good industrial base and a willingness to serve. That's actually not true. We were in the middle of a depression. Our industrial capacity was limited and we needed to upgrade our armed forces in a hurry.
When faced with a Supreme Court that correctly found his proposals unconstitutional, his reaction was to attempt to amend the Constitution to add a jurists that would allow him to do as he pleased.
He did attempt to amend the constitution. Today's leftists would have just sued the Supreme Court for lack of diversity.
He designed and implemented policies which not only did not shorten the depression, they thwarted the ability of market forces to restore the economy to health. He created the precedent that the people of the United States should first look to government for the solutions to their problems.
I agree with all of the above.
But to credit him for those achievements is the same as giving Clinton credit for the economic strength that was the result of economic policies of his predecessors, and changes in technology.
There is no comparison between Clinton and FDR. Clinton is a shameful disgrace who flaunted the law, couldn't be honest with his own cabinet, kidnapped a Cuban boy from a private home and sentenced him to live under Communism, murdered his own Commerce Secretary, took bribes for pardons and slept at the wheel and possibly even covered up terrorists attacks while the US faced grave threats to its civilian population.
I refuse to argue this anymore b/c I am not by any means a fan of FDR but he is deserved credit for winning WWII.
George Bush should not be considered great until his presidency is over. The war in Iraq is over but we still have a ways to go on the war on terror. 9/11 did happen on his watch. He has agreed to programs to let illegal aliens agree to stay in this country. He is the government to grow at a rate that even Clinton did not. He states that he is against abortion but does not seem to be willing to do anything against it. He may one day be considered one of the great presidents of this country but I would like to see what he does in his second term.
I'd rank Carter so low he wouldn't even make the list (Like #43 on the list of 42!). Even today the thought of living through Carter's Presidency sends shudders through me. JFK really doesn't belong on the list since his Presidency was cut short by his assassination. I don't know why people are so hot about LBJ, I always thought his mis-management of the Vietnam war should have ranked him just above Carter's.
I'd Rank President Reagan at least #5, though I've always had a sneaking admiration for Truman. And I'd definitely agree with more than a few of you who feel that Nixon got a "Raw Deal", and probably over time that will change. Despite his shortcomings, Nixon knew politics, especially foreign relations, and he deserves better.
I put FDR sixth out ten. He should not be ranked in the top three.
It was necessary for Truman, Johnson, and their ilk of big-spending socialists to make certain that Speaker Coke didn't interfere with their grand social programs.
Besides stuffing Ballot Box #13, Truman and Johnson used Yale attorney Abe Fortas to seal their LBJ Senate election theft (a favor repaid by nominating Fortas to the Supreme Court later - which further begets the whole Chief Justice Warren Harding/President Nixon feud, et al, including Fortas' eventual resignation from the Supreme Court - the first to ever do so - after getting caught accepting a $20,000 bribe masked as a retirement pension payment).
I stopped reading this ranking as soon as I saw two things:
1. There was no ranking that one could use to give a negative score to an XPOTUS. A catagory named "Dismal failure and Harmful to the Country and the Office".
2. That "historians" ranked old X42 as No. 24.
It is extremely obvious that X42 should have been placed into the "Dismal Failure and Harmful to the Country and the Office" with a mean score of -5.
The rankings - as they exist - ain't worth spit.
C#133 on Truman...
All kidding aside, he probably didn't go straight into the toilet because of the economy that Reagan setup for him.
Lincoln elevated the issue of slavery to the place where it needed to be, namely to the moral plane. He got it out of "practical politics" and forced people to make the hard choice that they had ducked for 80 years. Moreover, to keep the "war coalition" together was a tremendous feat---he was far more of a "minority president" than Bush was. Talk about red and blue states---Lincoln didn't get a vote below the Mason-Dixon line.
it doesn't matter as long as he is below the top two tiers. It will bother him to no end that he is not #1 he he he.
Nixon should be higher, Clintoon should be lower.
I put FDR as Failure.
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