Obama Ranks 12th Best In C-SPAN Survey Of Presidential Historians

President Barack Obama answer a question during a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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Former President Barack Obama was ranked 12th best among 43 former presidents in in C-SPAN’s third-ever survey of dozens of presidential historians.

The network asked 91 presidential historians to rank every former president on 10 leadership attributes. C-SPAN also performed the survey in 2000 and 2009.

Obama ranked favorably compared to his immediate predecessors: George W. Bush ranked at No. 33 (up from 36 in 2009), George H.W. Bush was No. 20 (down from 18), and Bill Clinton held steady at No. 15.

Ronald Reagan was judged the ninth best president of all time, up from No. 10 in 2009.

In a press release accompanying the results, historian Richard Norton Smith, an academic adviser for the project, noted that five of the top 10 judged presidents in the American pantheon served between 1933 and 1969.

“It reinforces Franklin Roosevelt’s claim to be not only the first modern president but the man who, in reinventing the office, also established the criteria by which we judge our leaders,” he said.

C-SPAN asked historians to rate each president, on a scale of 1-10, on 10 difference leadership attributes: “Public Persuasion,” “Crisis Leadership,” “Economic Management,” “Moral Authority,” “International Relations,” “Administrative Skills,” “Relations with Congress,” “Vision/Setting An Agenda,” “Pursued Equal Justice for All,” and “Performance Within the Context of His Times.”

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  1. Avatar for imkmu3 imkmu3 says:

    Ronald Reagan was judged the ninth best president of all time, up from No. 10 in 2009.

    Oh FFS!

  2. That pretty much makes this poll… not as meaningful.

  3. Avatar for caltg caltg says:

    Obama’s rank in this should drive Trump to distraction. Let me guess, his first comment will be, “It is rigged!”

  4. George W. Bush ranked at No. 33 (up from 36 in 2009),

    WTF!. He was 36th in 2009?

    What do you have to do to be at the absolute bottom?

  5. Ronald Reagan was judged the ninth best president of all time, up from No. 10 in 2009.

    Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan? The guy who:

    1. Thought trees caused more pollution than cars.
    2. DIdn’t mention “AIDS” in public for nearly 7 years while thousands of Americans were dying from it.
    3. Once greeted a member of his own cabinet with “Nice to meet you, Mr. Mayor. How are things in your city?”
    4. Ran on a balanced budget platform but tripled the national debt.
    5. Often indicated in his press conferences that he didn’t know much about his own policies
    6. Signed away the Fairness Doctrine.

    Number 6 is the reason that the current so-called President is a deranged, narcissistic psychopath.

    Thanks, Ronnie!

    EDIT: I should mention that Paul Slansky’s 1989 book The Clothes Have No Emperor is not only a terrific book about the Reagan catastrophe, but it just might be the best book ever written. I’ve worn out three copies from lending it to friends.

    If you’ve never read it, you should, and you will thank me. You can even read the first chapter online: http://www.theclotheshavenoemperor.com/

    EDIT: I’ve been reminded that you can pick up the paperback at Amazon for a couple of bucks used. True, and if you like “real” books, go get one. You can probably find one for under $5. Keep in mind that the author gets bupkis from a used book sale, and the print edition is long out of print…

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