Survey of experts ranks Lincoln as best president, Kennedy as most overrated


On this annual presidential holiday (so to speak), the Washington Post has published results of its survey of 162 members of the American Political Science Association’s Presidents & Executive Politics section.

The top 10 presidents in this poll were, in declining order:  Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson.

There’s more HERE:

[W]hen asked about which presidents were most overrated and underrated, our survey found Kennedy to be the most overrated, followed by [Ronald] Reagan and Andrew Jackson.

The most underrated? Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush and Truman. All of these underrated presidents, to some degree, were consensus-builders. They also all managed international conflicts, something that most of the top 10 great presidents did.

How does Barack Obama fare? Scholars had a mixed view of him. Obama ranks 18th overall and, among the modern presidents (those since FDR), he is in the middle of the pack.



  1. Steverino

    Looks like Reagan dropped a few notches in the power rankings for Mt Rushmore II. Many are starting to wake up to his economic incompetence and misdeeds.

    • Economic incompetence? Not even close.

      By far the biggest problems Reagan had to deal with when he took office was unemployment and inflation. Unemployment was over 10% during Reagan’s first year, he got it under 6% when he left. Inflation was well over 10% annually during his first year, and about 4% when he left.

      Yearly deficits? The worst they got under Reagan was about $220 billion in 1986 under Reagan. Compare that to Obama’s record low, which the libs are all giggly about, of about $650 billion this year.

      Reagan even reformed Entitlements by raising taxes on Social Security income, something that would have little chance of passing today.

      There is absolutely no doubt that Reagan left the country in a far better economic condition than when he inherited it.

  2. Steverino

    He took an 800 billion dollar debt and turned it into a 2.14 trillion dollar debt. He turned this once great democratic nation into an oligarchy for the powerful and rich.

    • So Reagan increased the debt by a little of a trillion dollars. Meanwhile Obama increased the debt by about 7 trillion.

      As far as your oligarchy comment goes, learn your history. The Tax Reform Act of 1986, which cut the top bracket from 50% to 38.5% was proposed and pushed through by the Democrats because they controlled Congress. Trying to blame it all on Reagan is asinine.


  3. Steverino

    I think you went through this exercise with Pat, didn’t you learn anything about Reagan’s real legacy.

    “He changed water to pollution and walked on the backs of the poor.” – Bill Maher

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