America’s Five Best Presidents

Gallup releases its poll, and aside from the aberration of Ronald Reagan (mainly due, I suspect, to the media face-lift he received after he left office), it helps restore my faith in the judgment of most Americans, at least a little bit.

(Though, on second thought, I don’t think JFK should be on there, but as the piece says, most of the respondents opted for relatively recent presidents. I do think George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were a bit more important and contributed more to America than JFK.)

The Discussion: 9 Comments

The Cuban Missile crisis and the lack of mushroom clouds over US cities makes Kennedy belong there. Its not clear any other guy who might have been President might have pulled that off.

Plus he shagged Marylin Monroe-bonus points there!

February 20, 2007 @ 9:03 pm | Comment

He also slept while the Berlin Wall was being built. I respeck JFK and he might make my Top 10 list. Not Top 5.

February 20, 2007 @ 10:39 pm | Comment

Wonderful: Lincoln, America’s first dictator, is the “best” President.
On the other hand, given Americans’ knowledge of their own history, I think a better title for this poll would be “Name Five Presidents You’ve Heard of Before Today”, and that would make a lot more sense.

February 20, 2007 @ 11:56 pm | Comment

Like it or not, Ronald Reagan is one of the best US Presidents – EVER! 🙂

February 21, 2007 @ 2:22 am | Comment

Here is my top 5.

1. Lincoln – Extraordanry times call for extraordanry measures. I think fighting a Civil War is justification for his “dictatorial” power grab. Don’t forget he also freed the slaves and was killed because of it. I wonder where this country would be today if he lived on long enough to give the ex-slaves their 40acres.

2. Washington – Half for what he did as President, particularly leaving after 2 terms. Half for what he did as leader of the revolution, kind of a pre-Presidency.

3. FDR – WWII, Great Depression.

4. Thomas Jefferson – Made individual liberty the state religion of the USA

5. Teddy Rosevelt – I just like the fact that he was a character. Plus he created the park system. How much land would have been lost to development if the country waited until the environmental movement of the 60s/70s.


– JFK – He got lucky during the Cuban Missle Crisis. And seriously, what difference did it make. In a few years the Russians were able to, as Captain Ramius put it, “lay off their largest city, and listen to their rock and roll… while we conduct missile drills.” How much difference is that than missles in Cuba?

– Any President after LBJ – Seriously, how can anyone list Nixon, Ford, Carter, or Bush (W or HW). Let’s see, Impeached, never elected, 1 term, 1 term, idiot. Reagon and Clinton lead during periods of great prosperity, so I would just give them credit for not doing anyting to screw it up, but Regan didn’t cause Comunism to collapse. It did that all by itself. Clinton didn’t cause the ecomomy to catch fire. It did that all by itself.

February 21, 2007 @ 3:54 am | Comment

I love Slick Willie as much as the next guy (who loves jazz and fried chicken), but the third best president ever? He isn’t that charming.

February 21, 2007 @ 5:16 am | Comment

You complain about JFK and let Clinton go? We may have to respeck (the Ali G. spelling is intentional, and copied from Richard’s 2nd comment) JFK for shagging MM, but we certainly don’t have to respeck Clinton for what he claims not to have done to “that woman.”

1. Lincoln
2. FDR
3. GW
4. Thomas Jefferson
5. Ronald Reagan (“Tear down that wall”)

Honorable mentions: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Andrew Jackson, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and James K. Polk, James Monroe, James Madison, and John F. Kennedy.

February 21, 2007 @ 9:30 am | Comment

The American people have spoken. Clinton is up there. He wasn’t my very favorite, but he did a fine job. To disagree is to spit on Americans, whose valuable opinions are recorded here for all posterity. (I’m using Malkinian logic here, and am not serious. I see polls like this as more amusing than anything else.)

February 21, 2007 @ 6:55 pm | Comment

Of course, if the same poll was asked among Chinese, they would say Nixon.

Only he would have had the guts, foresight, and strategic understqanding to develop ties to China.

Clinton is probably the only coward on the list.

February 22, 2007 @ 6:03 pm | Comment

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