Monday, February 16, 2009

Rating the Presidents

CSPAN has another Presidential rating survey out. I don't have time for an extended "review" (well, frankly, my general response is "whatev"). But the two things I noticed were also noticed by KC Johnson at Cliopatria (thanks Ralph and sorry KC for initially giving the wrong attribution...sloppy of me). Why the hell does JFK rate so high, and why is Bill Clinton moving UP in these things? As KC points out:
Perhaps the most dubious rankings, however, involved the overall scores given to two recent Democrats, John Kennedy and Bill Clinton. Kennedy was ranked the sixth-best President, up from eighth in 2000. The two Presidents he surpassed between 2000 and 2009: Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson. In 2000, eighth seemed like a pretty high ranking for Kennedy, but it’s hard to justify placing him over two two-term chief executives with major accomplishments in both the foreign policy and domestic spheres.
KC digs in a bit more and has some other questions, so check it out. Regardless, these things are obviously subjective. Though, the top two continue to be Lincoln and Washington. At least most can agree on that!