A recent survey shows that the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama is regarded as the 12th best U.S. political leader in U.S. presidential history. The research was conducted by C-SPAN and 91 presidential historians contributed to the paper. Barack Obama was placed above James Monroe who took office between 1817 and 1825 and just below Woodrow Wilson who served as President from 1913 to 1921, shows the report made public on Friday, February 17th.
Since C-SPAN began polling the panel of presidential experts 17 years ago, this is the third such survey conducted by the organization. “Crisis leadership”, “pursuing equal justice for all”, international relations”, and “moral authority” are various issues on which the poll ranks each U.S. president.
Coming in third behind only Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson, Barack Obama scored particularly high in the “equal justice for all” department. When it comes to “relations with Congress”, however, the 44th president ranked only the fifth from the bottom, and 24th best score in the “international relations” department, according to the survey.
Even so, Rice University’s Historian Douglas Brinkley says that in spite of its weak points, the former leader’s presidency could age well and even climb a few steps on the ladder in the future.
“There tends to be kind of an upward mobility, particularly if you are a president who had no major scandals”, said Douglas Brinkley.
He also added that presidents are oftentimes judged based on their immediate successors, as well as predecessors. As a result, if the current president doesn’t do much of a job while in the office, the people will most likely judge Barack Obama even higher yet.
Moreover, Abraham Lincoln ranked as the best president of all times for the third consecutive year, while the first president, George Washington came in second. Ultimately, Franklin D. Roosevelt was ranked as the third best U.S. political leader of all times.
The historians flagged James Buchanan as the worst political leader because of his incompetence to address the onset of the Civil War, which is also regarded as one of the greatest leadership failures in U.S. history. On a humorous note, however, Buchanan was placed below even William Henry Harrison who died after only one month in office on April 4th, 1841.
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