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 ...
The union was fragile at the time, he has to be #1 for holding it all together and helping to ensure the constitutional form of the federal republic we have.
Historians love big government.
Exactly. Mr. Coolidge was also the last president who committed, as far as I can learn, exactly zero egregious violations of the Constitutional, and for that alone should rank no worse than 10th.
I am actually amazed Reagan ranked so high given historians ranked them. I think Reagan is second only to the #1 guy. But I give the historians credit for being somewhat intellectually honest and having Reagan among the near great presidents. I can't imagine anything Reagan could have done better. The crap that liberals spew about the man is laughable. Deficits were a neccesary evil, and we grew out of them like he predicted. AIDS, Reagan signed Bills for nearly $6 Billion on AIDS research. Little was known, and Reagan was actually quite progressive on the issue. Additional money would not likely have saved lives. Iran-Contra was a joke of a controversy. Weighing those against all of Reagan's accomplishments with the economy and the cold war. Believe it or not, Clinton's tax reforms were just minor tweeks to what Reagan did. Our marginal tax rates are still much closer to what Reagan established, then the near-communistic 1970's marginal rates.
Reagan over Jefferson? You're kidding, right?
Wilson is severely overrated.
That's my thought exactly...he should be listed as a failure as should Carter!!!
No way Johnson was above average.
Placing Impeached Bill Clinton above Nixon who resigned for the good of the Office and Country is a disgrace.
Ditto that. If Washington wanted he could have become a dictator and no one in all of history would have batted an eye. His humility and toughness and commitment to republican government will keep all Americans always in his debt.
5 Roosevelt F
11 Roosevelt T
12 Bush GHW
15-41 Take your pick
Utter Failure and disgrace
78 people with political opinions - Completely meaningless.
I could make up my own rankings and it would have just as much significance
I see real parallels between Buchanan and Clinton. Both were weak men, ill-suited to the Presidency. Buchanan had opportunities to address sectional divisions in the country, but did nothing. Maybe he could not have prevented the coming war, but he did not contribute to a solution in any way. Just so, Clinton had many opportunities to address Terrorism, but he did not. The War started after these Presidents had left office, but each war had become inevitable during their administrations.
Buchanan and Clinton were clear failures. Everyone else needs to be ranked somewhere above them.
Way above average in damage done to the Country.
With liberal historians intentions are what counts.
I recall a newspaper article article where the writer considered 20th century Presidenmts in terms of how they mastered the Presidency. Did they fulfil the role as they saw it, and did they leave the legacy they wanted?
On thar basis the greats were Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan.
The others I remember were Eisenhower as Near Great, and Woodrow Wilson as Failure.
Here in the south, students think Polk is an edible weed used in a dish called Poke Sallet.
Up north, students think Polk is short for a Polka, a dance for the way not cool.
how did FDR get so high???
Kennedy is overrated. I can't think of any major legislation passed during his administration. Everything that is attributed to him was enacted during LBJ's term.
Nixon and "Silent Cal" should be, in my opinion, higher.
Clinton and Carter are complete fiascos.
John Adams should be way up higher. He did a hell of a lot more for the US than Jefferson, although Adams wasn`t President at he time.. Jefferson sat on his azz while Adams was touring the globe looking for help against the British, almost died from malaria, led the push for independence plus he was vehemently opposed to slavery while Jefferson owned hundreds (ask George Jefferson)but I guess they are just judging them by what they did while in office. Bill Clinton shouldn`t even be on that list, that dude is probably in the bottom 3.
But remember that liberals as we now know them didn't come into being until LBJ. Compared to LBJ and all liberals since, the prior Presidents would have been considered Conservatives...including JFK.
His wife was acting president after his stroke, and he was nothing short of lying in running "He kept us out of war", while declaring it just after he was inaugarated.
Wilson #11 ???????????? He was an abject failure.
But, give it about 20 years. History has a way of getting to the real truth.
The backlash from conservatives on FDR comes from the left's love of the man. However, much like most on the left giving a begrudging respect to Ronaldus Magnus this week, I am willing to give FDR the same courtesies.
"how did FDR get so high??"
Probably on the very best Scoth that money can buy.
LBJ ahead of JFK?? Wow!
As much as I hate to say it, Carter deserves some credit for listening to Milton Freedman about deregulation, and Clinton
for signing the free trade agreement.
As I predicted to a pathetic lib last night:
Fifty years from now, my guy's gonna be remembered for the quote "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" (and my great grandchildren will ask "What wall?"). Yours will be remembered for "Ahhhh did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky". Now, that's a fitting legacy.
President Ford should be recognized for pardoning Nixon. It probably cost him several positions on the chart and any chance at being elected president, but it eliminated much of the devisiveness that was in the country at the time and helped the country to get on with its business.
Free Republic should post its own official Presidential rating...put it to a vote "questions" and when it is completed put out an official Free Republic press release.
FR opinions are more balanced than those of the so-called 'experts.'
Even the great Reagan used to quote him in admiration, so does Bush.
I am not certain if they really do think that highly of him or just know it is pointless to not praise him.
Why is a below average President, Grant on our currency?
What puts Coolidge up in your book?
Yeah. "One in a row" for both of them.
Not me, thanks to FDR we had 50 years of cold war and Reagan had to clean up his mess!! The Russian army was destroyed and what did FDR do at Yalta? HE GAVE STALIN HALF OF EUROPE!!! FDR was the founder of the nanny state with all of his failed social programs. What a turd!!!
I was talking about the historians being liberal. They would rank FDR, Kennedy, Clinton, Carter higher than conservative historians would.
A Reagan-esque quote if there ever was on. He presided over great propserity and although the term was not used in the sense it is today, Coolidge was a conservative President.
Reagan should be above FDR. I wouldn't even consider FDR to be a great president.
These guys must include a healthy sampling of leftists.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. Period.
FDR doesn't belong there. He gave away half of Europe and helped create the mess that Ronald Reagan had to clean up. Truman was President during the first war we lost.
I'd give Polk honorable mention for stealing away the entire southwest from that tinhorn dictator Santa Ana.
Andrew Jackson was a crook, an alcoholic, a racist, and he cheated when he dueled - which was frequently - typical Democrat.
I believe you have nailed it. Some were placed so high upon pedestals, and praised for so long, before their warts were discovered, that now they are untouchable.
Considering how many of those untouchables were already set in stone before President Reagan came along and him being rated at # 8, I don't believe it would be unreasonable at all for us to presume that if all positions were open and the ratings were today, President Reagan would more than likely be placed within the top five.
Dang! that is one long sentence, but I couldn't find a stopping place.
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