With all the hysterical and un-serious nonsense as to where president Bush ranks. Here is a more sober ranking of my own. Two things concerning i:
This is a ranking as president not as an American otherwise both Adams, Hoover and Jefferson would rank much higher.
I reserve the right to change my mind upon reflection as we are farther away and judgement can be made in a more sober manor.
I rank him easily better than
Carter, Nixon, Hoover, Harding, Wilson, B. Harrison, Garfield, Grant, Buchanan, WH. Harrison, Van Buren, JQ Adams.
The first Harrison and Garfield can’t get a fair shake but you can’t beat something with nothing. I think Wilson is the most overrated president in history with Jefferson close behind. As time goes by the disaster that was Jimmy Carter becomes more and more apparent.
I rank him slightly better than
Clinton,GHW Bush, Ford, Johnson, Taft, Andrew Johnson, Pierce, Fillmore, Taylor.
Ford and Johnson might rank better Ford due to being the right man at the right time rather than as a great president, If it wasn’t for the civil rights Johnson would sink here. Clinton was my toughest call; his failures helped setup the challenges of the W Bush presidency but he often doesn’t get credit for actual successes. He is the only person on this list that has the potential to both rise and fall.
I rank him comperable to
Kennedy, Ike, Coolidge, Hays, Jackson, Tyler, Jefferson, John Adams
I give Adams and Taylor points here for dealing with unique situations both could and maybe should go lower. Other than the Louisiana Purchase and the Barbary wars I didn’t care much for the Jefferson presidency but Louisiana was so huge in the history of the country that it raises him. Kennedy might be too high but the space goal and preventing Nuclear War over Cuba are both huge. This is an odd place since as president Bush’s place in history changes these men will move up or down based on it.
I rank him inferior to
Reagan, Truman, FDR, McKinley, Monroe, Madison
Madison might be too high here, and Reagan and Truman might both be too low, The new deal was functionally poor but psychologically important but even if it wasn’t so WW II nearly bumps him to the top section.
I rank him not in the same league as
TR, Cleveland, Lincoln, Polk, Washington
Polk and Cleveland were great presidents who have been forgotten. I suggest studying them both since they both deserve to be known better. People who object to them being so high don’t know them.
President Elect Obama has the potential to end up anywhere on his list. The trick is not to under rate him due to unreal expectations or overrate him due to his unique place in history. Lets hope he earns high ratings due to high performance. As of today it will come down to the economy and the war on terror but who knows what tomorrow will bring? If he is really bad then he has the potential to help propel GWB much higher on the list.
It will be fun to find out.
If you need a solid number as of today for President Bush we’ll say 14th or 15th but any spot from 12-20 wouldn’t phase me. This number will remain fluid for at least a decade.