UK creates poll of best US Presidents thinks Obama is 8th Greatest President of all time

By Sam Foster

 

A UK poll of scholars put Obama at 8th greatest President of all time (if he'd been included).  It all rings similar to the annual Siena College poll.  I pulled the full results for your viewing below:

 

Overall
Ranking

President

Average
Score

Percentage

1

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-1945

446.60

89.32%

2

Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865

441.25

88.25%

3

George Washington, 1789-1797

422.64

84.53%

4

Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809

383.12

76.62%

5

Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1909

378.50

75.70%

6

Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1921

373.26

74.65%

7

Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953

361.70

72.34%

8

Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-1989

332.98

66.60%

9

Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837

329.00

65.80%

10

Dwight David Eisenhower, 1953-1961

328.94

65.79%

11

Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963-1969

326.36

65.27%

12

John Adams, 1797-1801

323.55

64.71%

13

James Monroe, 1817-1825

310.52

62.10%

14

James Madison, 1809-1817

308.49

61.70%

15

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961-1963

308.17

61.63%

16

James Knox Polk, 1845-1849

293.18

58.64%

17

William McKinley, 1897-1901

291.36

58.27%

18

James Earl Carter, Jr., 1977-1981

285.96

57.19%

19

William Jefferson Clinton, 1993-2001

281.74

56.35%

20

John Quincy Adams, 1825-1829

277.97

55.59%

21

Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889

265.00

53.00%

22

George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989-1993

255.11

51.02%

23

Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969-1974

239.36

47.87%

24

Gerald Rudolph Ford, 1974-1977

235.19

47.04%

25

William Howard Taft, 1909-1913

230.69

46.14%

26

Herbert Clark Hoover, 1929-1933

223.95

44.79%

27

Martin Van Buren, 1837-1841

218.21

43.64%

28

Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929

209.34

41.87%

29

Ulysses Simpson Grant, 1869-1877

206.65

41.33%

30

Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 1877-1881

199.24

39.85%

31

George Walker Bush, 2001-2009

197.84

39.57%

32

Chester Alan Arthur, 1881-1885

193.77

38.75%

33

Zachary Taylor, 1849-1850

193.03

38.61%

34

Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893

183.90

36.78%

35

Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853

177.48

35.50%

36

Andrew Johnson, 1865-1869

167.94

33.59%

37

John Tyler, 1841-1845

161.15

32.23%

38

Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1921-1923

148.97

29.79%

39

Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857

132.72

26.54%

40

James Buchanan, 1857-1861

131.54

26.31%

 

 

Of course, GWB faired quite poorly, but it's really here nor there.  If he's not loved in the US, how better will he fair elsewhere.  No, what is always interesting is how these polls try and defend themselves against liberal bias in academics:

 

One of the criticisms often levelled against US presidential surveys is that the participants are driven by liberal bias to give high ratings to presidents who expanded the role of government.  At first sight the UK survey looks to have a similar leaning. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the architect of the modern state, is ranked first. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) and Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), the early twentieth century Progressives whose agendas foreshadowed the New Deal, are placed fifth and sixth respectively. FDR's legatees, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson (1963-1969), come seventh and eleventh respectively – the latter would have been placed much higher in recognition of his civil rights achievement but for the corrosive effect of Vietnam on his foreign policy and moral authority scores. Nevertheless, countering possible charges of bias, the UK survey places some small government advocates higher than recent US polls have done. Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) was ranked fourth, Ronald Reagan was eighth, and Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) was ninth (compared to their C-Span 2009 rankings of 7th, 10th, and 13th respectively).

 

So, they threw in a few small government types; conservatives are you appeased?  The problem is not the inclusion/exclusion of small government proponents but the lauding and acclaim of every single progressive president of the last hundred years, well beyond their contributions to this nation.

 

LBJ would be the perfect example.  Every single program LBJ created is broken and needs to be fixed.  The war in Vietnam is entirely glossed over, but what he is graded on is not the actual outcome of policies and agenda, but the fact that his vision was to move the nation to the left and he succeeded in some transformational way.  Outcome need not be analyzed.

6 comments:

  1. Imagine that socialist professors love FDR.

    ReplyDelete
  2. trestin - agreed. Thus I take these polls with a grain of salt. They look foolish lauding a man who locked up thousands of Japanese Americans.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Europeans are not very well educated on the history of US presidents... And US students are not better either!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really don't know why they do things lie this, particularly using British scholars. Claiming Obama would rank at #8 says more about those responding to the question than it does about the Presidents. For example, Obama has pretty much followed everything Bush did in the GWOT. He did get a very flawed START treaty through, but even now, neither the Americans nor the Russians are quite agreeing what the provisions mean. That is terrible negotiating. Domestically, we have an unsupportable debt with no signs of abatement. We have a health care bill the country hates and, if we had up or down votes, it would be crapped. We have an economy that continues to sink and job numbers which continue to decrease. So, to anyone not enthralled with the idea of Obama, there is no justification for not ranking him very close to the bottom. So far, Obama has shown nothing.

    The criteria are at:

    http://americas.sas.ac.uk/research/survey/pdf/analysis.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ooops, not "crapped", "scrapped".

    ReplyDelete
  6. Any ranking that puts FDR ahead of George Washington is a joke.

    ReplyDelete

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