February 20, 2012

Happy Presidents Day

Marc Comtois

I had thought about pointing to a few articles on presidential rankings made by historians or political scientists. But, really, we know they're biased (heck, they ranked President Obama #15 overall after 18 months in office!), so I'll just leave you with this link to a Wikipedia article on the subject that also includes a handy and sortable aggregate ranking table.

Rankings don't mean agreement with ideology or politics, just recognition of their effectiveness at what they wanted to do combined with how well they governed. For my money, I still put ol' GW as #1. Thanks to him, the whole idea that the President isn't a king took hold (though FDR would have kept going if he hadn't died, methinks). I have a soft spot for John Adams, but, frankly he wasn't a good President even if he was a helluva character. Lincoln, for me, is a close #2--he guided our nation through it's toughest times. After that, we get into tiers--Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR; Madison, Jackson, Truman; Reagan, Wilson, Polk--etc. Obama isn't in the top half in my book--I'd put Clinton ahead of him for instance--but I still think he's ahead of Carter!

Who's your favorite?

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Calvin Coolidge. A great conservative from MA. Two things you don't usually see together.

"they ranked President Obama #15 overall after 18 months in office!"

Don't forget, he ranked himself fourth!

Posted by: Patrick at February 20, 2012 8:49 AM

Publicity-seeking Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has announced a five-person "Cold Case Posse" that will delve into the issue of President Obama's birth certificate, claiming that the Surprise, Ariz., Tea Party asked him to investigate. "This investigation does not involve politics," Arpaio told the birther news site WorldNutDaily. "I listen to all the residents of Maricopa County who come to my office with complaints, regardless what their politics are."

Posted by: Sammy in Arizona at February 20, 2012 11:03 AM

Is this Sammy character going to be allowed to keep trolling this site indefinitely? He isn't even trying to relate to the thread topics anymore. What does Joe Arpaio and the Tea Party have to do with our favorite President?

Several of the long-term white house staffers who served under different presidents have said that Nixon was the most brilliant and effective President of their lifetime. Politically and intellectually, he was said to be leaps and bounds ahead of everyone around him. Obviously, he had his ethical problems and personal demons as well, but it's difficult to stack up to him in terms of real leadership and accomplishments - ended the war, ended the draft, opened China, etc. I think Lincoln was one of the most effective wartime leaders - everything indicates that he genuinely cared about the troops and was tortured by what they were going through. He got little rest because he was constantly being visited by soldiers. Teddy Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson were our most badass presidents. I'd like to see another rugged individualist president in my lifetime. FDR was an inspirational leader for the country in some of its darkest hours, but he wrongfully gets credit for "ending the Depression" and he should have realized that four terms wasn't good for the country. He had a positive psychological impact in many ways, but at the same time he set in motion many of the longer-term social and financial problems we have today regarding dependency and the welfare state. Many of the chickens he let out are only now coming home to roost.

Posted by: Dan at February 20, 2012 11:55 AM

"I'd like to see another rugged individualist president in my lifetime."

*cough* Christie *cough*

Posted by: Patrick at February 20, 2012 12:08 PM

Sammy, you're walking a fine line, both as to relevancy of subject matter and, with this comment, as to plagiarism.

Kindly provide the proper attribute or link for this and all future quotations. As it stands, you have made it appear that you are the author of this comment.

Posted by: Monique at February 20, 2012 4:49 PM

Sorry folks, my comment was from tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com, please except my apologies,

As to relevance, Marc mentioned President Obama, so I thought the comment was relevant.

Again thanks for letting me comment here (I realize there are a lot of folks who want be banned)

Happy Presidents Day..be well all..
with love Sammy

Posted by: Sammy at February 20, 2012 5:32 PM

I like Ike; the president the Republicans want to forget. For the Democrats, FDR.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at February 20, 2012 6:49 PM

OTL, to prove your point, I meant to include Ike in my Reagan/Wilson/Polk tier...but I forgot (though I didn't "want" to)!

Posted by: Marc at February 21, 2012 8:22 AM

Wilson?BARF alert!!He segregated the military services;involved the US in a European land war in which we had NO national interest;attempted one world government through the League of Nations;and authorized the Palmer Raids.
Eisenhower was quietly great.
Reagan seized the moment and ran with it.
Truman rocked the Japanese Empire's
world and ended WW2 fast.
Nixon was good at foreign relations,but unfortunately was psychotic.
Gerald Ford rescued the Presidency and then left the stage to continue collecting stamps.
Bill Clinton took care of veterans.
Jimmy Carter f**ked up everything he got near.
Sammy oughta consider being on topic once in a while.

Posted by: joe bernstein at February 21, 2012 5:57 PM

George Washington.

Posted by: helen at February 24, 2012 4:56 AM
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