New presidential rankings by the American Political Science Association have shattered the Republican claim that President Obama is the worst president in history.
The most highly ranked presidents contained many of the usual suspects. Abraham Lincoln was rated the greatest president, with an average score of 95 out of 100, followed by George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The rest in the top 10 were Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson.
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. He ranks behind not only Clinton and Eisenhower but also Reagan, Johnson, Kennedy, and George H.W. Bush. Obama ranks ahead of Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, and George W. Bush (who was ranked 35 overall).
Historians and experts caution that is nearly impossible to rate a president while they are still in office. It is difficult to evaluate Obama. The president’s legacy will be tied to the Affordable Care Act. If the law stays in place and continues to grow, the president’s legacy will be helped. Obama’s actions on gay marriage, immigration, and climate change will also shape his legacy in a positive way.
The economy is also going to shape President Obama’s legacy. If the economy continues to grow rapidly over the next two years, Obama could become a top ten president. It is easy to imagine a scenario where the economy robustly expands, and history rewards this president for bringing the nation out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
The American Political Science Association did warn that the participants were influenced by their personal political ideology.
What is clear is that the favorite refrain of Republicans that Obama is the worst president is not true. Obama is not even close to being the worst president ever. The numbers, the facts, and experts all agree that Republicans are wrong about Obama.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association