Monday, February 17, 2020

Business Insider and The Daily Conversation rank past presidents for Presidents Day

Happy Presidents Day!Yesterday I ranked the best movie and TV presidents, real and fictional, for Presidents Day weekend.  Today, I'm ranking the real presidents.*

The most recent video I could find from a reputable source was The top 15 presidents according to historians by Business Insider.

It should come as little surprise to anyone that, for the third time in a row, historians agree that Abraham Lincoln was the best US President, but what about our newest former president?

As part of C-SPAN's third Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership, almost 100 historians and biographers rated the 43 former presidents on ten qualities of presidential leadership: Public persuasion, crisis leadership, economic management, moral authority, international relations, administrative skills, relations with congress, vision, pursued equal justice for all, and performance within the context of his times.
That may be the most recent, but the most popular video on this topic I could find is The Daily Conversation's Top 10 Presidents of the USA, which goes more in detail about each president's accomplishments.

The 10 best presidents in American history, ranked by their overall contribution to the country.

10. John F. Kennedy
9. James K. Polk
8. Lyndon B. Johnson
7. Dwight D. Eisenhower
6. Woodrow Wilson
5. Thomas Jefferson
4. Theodore Roosevelt
3. George Washington
2. Franklin D. Roosevelt
1. Abraham Lincoln
The one that surprised me in both rankings was James K. Polk, who shows up on both lists while another president I expected, Andrew Jackson, did not.  I guess I would consider Polk underrated, while Jackson, who is our current president's favorite past president, might be overrated.  As I've written before, any day I learn something new is a good day.

*Yes, I know I promised to write "an entry about the people running for president in real life" for today.  I'm working on it, so stay tuned.


  1. "But what about our newest former president?" I'm still looking. I guess the newest one was LBJ? Okay, found it on the video. I usually just read the article.

    1. Yes, "our newest former president" was Obama, who ranked about 12th in the first video. LBJ did surprisingly well in both rankings.

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    1. This spam belongs on a Valentines Day post, not a Presidents Day post. Deleted.