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Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:14 AM

Scholars list of best and worst presidents

The following presidents are usually considered among the ten best by scholars, as well as the general public, according to multiple scholar's list I found online. I also found a list that lists the common best and worst presidents among scholars:
1. George Washington

2. Abraham Lincoln

3. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

4. Thomas Jefferson

5. Theodore Roosevelt

6. Harry S Truman

7. Woodrow Wilson

8. Dwight Eisenhower

9. John F. Kennedy

10. Andrew Jackson


Considered the worst:
1. Warren G. Harding

2. James Buchanan

3. Andrew Johnson

4. Franklin Pierce

5. Millard Fillmore

6. Ulysses S. Grant

7. George W. Bush

8. Zachary Taylor

9. William H. Harrison

10. John Tyler

65 replies, 10611 views

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Arrow 65 replies Author Time Post
Reply Scholars list of best and worst presidents (Original post)
Dpm12 Jan 2013 OP
sadbear Jan 2013 #1
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #2
PotatoChip Jan 2013 #9
sadbear Jan 2013 #13
truebluegreen Jan 2013 #44
abq e streeter Jan 2013 #3
Dpm12 Jan 2013 #6
get the red out Jan 2013 #33
LineReply .
madokie Jan 2013 #4
exboyfil Jan 2013 #5
get the red out Jan 2013 #34
NYC Liberal Jan 2013 #7
dsc Jan 2013 #40
NYC Liberal Jan 2013 #43
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #51
NYC Liberal Jan 2013 #54
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #56
Flashmann Jan 2013 #8
jehop61 Jan 2013 #10
HughBeaumont Jan 2013 #21
Retrograde Jan 2013 #26
Drale Jan 2013 #11
NYC Liberal Jan 2013 #14
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #12
Aristus Jan 2013 #16
pansypoo53219 Jan 2013 #23
exboyfil Jan 2013 #25
Confusious Jan 2013 #31
demwing Jan 2013 #35
exboyfil Jan 2013 #38
demwing Jan 2013 #41
Pyrzqxgl Jan 2013 #52
csziggy Jan 2013 #28
srican69 Jan 2013 #15
Greybnk48 Jan 2013 #17
kelliekat44 Jan 2013 #18
Dpm12 Jan 2013 #22
Confusious Jan 2013 #30
truebluegreen Jan 2013 #46
Confusious Jan 2013 #48
demwing Jan 2013 #36
HughBeaumont Jan 2013 #19
truebluegreen Jan 2013 #47
kelliekat44 Jan 2013 #20
Archae Jan 2013 #24
Confusious Jan 2013 #27
Hugabear Jan 2013 #29
Confusious Jan 2013 #32
cordelia Jan 2013 #37
williamc1967txlib Jan 2013 #39
Confusious Jan 2013 #49
bongbong Jan 2013 #42
Dpm12 Jan 2013 #45
Confusious Jan 2013 #50
KharmaTrain Jan 2013 #53
lpbk2713 Jan 2013 #55
LittleBlue Jan 2013 #57
Hugabear Jan 2013 #58
kairos12 Jan 2013 #59
LeftinOH Jan 2013 #60
GeorgeGist Jan 2013 #61
Festivito Jan 2013 #64
Festivito Jan 2013 #62
Generic Brad Jan 2013 #63
Dpm12 Jan 2013 #65

Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:17 AM

1. * was better than Franklin Pierce?

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Response to sadbear (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:19 AM

2. Worse, I think

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Response to sadbear (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:28 AM

9. Apparently. According to this list. But,

isn't * a descendant of Pierce's on his maternal side? Not all that surprising if true. Does anyone know for sure?

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:31 AM

13. I've heard that, too.

Barbara's maiden name is Pierce.

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:33 PM

44. Yes, it is True.

Barbara Pierce Bush is descended from Pres. Pierce and mother of *.

American Royalty...

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:20 AM

3. Dubya's only # 7 ??? Jeez....

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Response to abq e streeter (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:21 AM

6. I know

I thought he shoulda been 1

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Response to abq e streeter (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:20 PM

33. Disappointing

Surely he was worse than Grant, my God, I think he's worse than anyone.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:20 AM

4. .

*

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:21 AM

5. Wilson #7

Bull. Middle of the pack at the best.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:20 PM

34. +1

Probably giving him too many points for the League of Nations that he couldn't get through Congress.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:25 AM

7. So of the guys Bush was better than...

One died after a month, one died after a year, and the other was never elected on his own and served less than 4 years.

Sounds about right.

Also, Grant gets a bad rap because of his inability to rein in corruption in his administration. He went after the Klan and all but destroyed them. He also fought for civil rights by pushing for the 15th Amendment and signing the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which had many of the provisions found in the one passed in 1964 (until it was overturned by the Supreme Court).

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:55 PM

40. yeah the notion that Grant is among the 10 worst is ridiculous

He also was good on foreign policy with the exception of a misadventure with the Dominican Republic.

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Response to dsc (Reply #40)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:32 PM

43. I don't know if Jefferson should be on the Top 10 list of presidents.

He was indeed great in many ways, but he wasn't the best president -- especially during his second term. The Embargo Act he signed was an absolute disaster and practically destroyed the economy. He was incredibly unpopular at the time and omitted "President of the United States" from his epitaph in favor of "Author of the Declaration of Independence." He's usually on these lists because of his name and other accomplishments.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:37 PM

51. I have never understood why Grant is ranked so poorly. n/t

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #51)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:49 PM

54. There was a lot of corruption in his administration.

Even though he personally was not corrupt, many of his advisors and appointments were, and he was not able to take control of it.

That's usually been the reason for ranking him lower. Yes it should be a factor but supporting civil rights reforms a hundred years before they were put in the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s outweighs that IMO.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #54)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:03 PM

56. Yes, but there has been a lot of corruption

in a lot of administrations. I think it has to do with the fact that he was the winning general and so many of our historians are southerners.

I agree with you...

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:25 AM

8. Timely,for me.....

I've been watching the History Channels 8 hour,4 part series on Presidents,the last few nights...Part 4 airs tonight...I'm curious to see how much lipstick they put on the chimp,errrrrr pig,that was Boy George Bewsh...

Although,so far,there haven't been any real surprises,so maybe they won't white wash him........No pun intended.....

ETA*

Actually there IS something that surprised me.....I've thought that Congress has been composed of clueless asshat,preservationists,socio/pychopaths and borderline criminal/traitors for the past 40-50 years..Turns out,this has been the case right from the very beginning......

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:28 AM

10. Not very well thought through

W.H. Harrison listed 8th worst and he got sick at the swearing in and died 6 weeks later. What did he do to be amongst the "worst"?

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:56 AM

21. Yeah, you can't really pack a whole lot of anything in 41 days.

Especially if you're being treated for pneumonia.

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:08 PM

26. I'd take both WH Harrison and Garfield out of the running for best/worst postitions

since neither served more than a few months - although a recent book, Destiny of the Republic, raises some interesting questions about what a full Garfield presidency could have done to advance Civil Rights.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:29 AM

11. I disagree with Grant being a bad president

He was a good president, his problem was he tried to run the government like a military unit and that doesn't work very well in a body with lier's, thieves and hypocrites. Thats the reason he gets a bad name because there was a ton of corruption during his presidency.

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Response to Drale (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:34 AM

14. I agree with your disagreement.

His inability to rein in corruption should be considered for sure, but he also did a lot of good. The Civil Rights Act he signed in fact had many of the protections found in the one signed in 1964, except the Supreme Court struck it down so it took another 100 years to effectively re-pass it.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:30 AM

12. Andrew Jackson?

One of the best?

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:38 AM

16. I'd rate him among the worst, for the treatment of Native Americans, if nothing else.

And I'd rate Polk as one of the worst, for the Mexican-American War, as blatant a land-grab as ever in history.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:47 PM

23. he was better on everything besides natives.

granted it was a big black mark.

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Response to pansypoo53219 (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:01 PM

25. Besides starting that war for living space

and herding the Jews and other undesirables into concentration camps, Hitler wasn't that bad either. He did love his dog Blondi.

I think Jackson was a forceful individual. One of the most forceful ever to hold the office - only someone like Washington can truly compare to him. If you had a military engagement to win, then he was your man. He was utterly ruthless and racist (probably not out of the box at the time). He did not look past himself to something grander.

I feel Lincoln, Washington, and both Roosevelts are different in that regard. That is why they are great. To a lesser extent Jefferson as well.

You should probably have a most influential list

Washington
F. Roosevelt
Lincoln
Jackson
Polk
Eisenhower
Jefferson (for the Louisiana Purchase alone)
Reagan
L. Johnson
Truman
G. W. Bush (for totally screwing up domestic and foreign policy together)

The country was substantially different when these men left office. Some for better and some for worse.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:15 PM

31. Sorry, Lincoln was a racist too

He didn't think blacks were equal to whites.

But I happen to see things in shades of grey. He was better then most of his time.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:32 PM

35. How can you create a list of "Most Influential" Presidents

and not include Obama?

Apart from his ACA victory, killing Bin Laden, ending two wars, and restoring America's reputation around the world, every non-white President in the future of this country will be compared to him. He is the first.

That's pretty fucking influential, right?

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Response to demwing (Reply #35)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:43 PM

38. He hasn't left office yet

He is not under consideration until he does. Normally you should wait a period of time after he has left (like in the case of Clinton), but Bush's screw ups were so monumental (adding the worst features of Madison, Hoover, Johnson, and Nixon) he deserves to be on the list early on.

We will see about ACA. I suspect Obama will be on most lists.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #38)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:01 PM

41. you miss my point

it isn't about ACA, it's about breaking the color barrier.

The jury is already out on that one. Obama is a "first," no matter what happens in the rest of his term.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:44 PM

52. So you'd rather have most of California, Arizona, New Mexico, & Texas be part of Mexico?

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:11 PM

28. My response, too!

WTH would make Jackson a "best" president? He killed a lot of Indians?

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:34 AM

15. shrub needs to be higher up on the list of bad presidents . in fact

he needs to be on top.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:42 AM

17. What a joke. Bush!

Last edited Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:49 PM - Edit history (1)

Did this come out of a repuke think tank? What a fucking joke.

Edit: I didn't see the "Worst" heading. Sorry, all.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:47 AM

18. Please take Truman off the "best" list and put him where he really belongs. nt

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:46 PM

22. Truman bad?

I thought Truman was pretty good. I was just ranking what is usually ranked by scholars. Oh, and the list isn't necessarily in the order listed here, I just put the top presidents usually considered both best and worst

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:13 PM

30. Truman desegregated the military,

And rebuilt Europe.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #30)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:41 PM

46. And started the National Security State,

which has continued, and grown, ever since. Also initiated the nuclear arms race/age by dropping two bombs that didn't need to be dropped.

Bad, bad ideas.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #46)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:26 PM

48. The CIA was around before him

under a different name.

The bombings, well, I disagree. They were warned, they rejected (with severe contempt) the warnings, and they surrendered on the same terms that were given before the bombings.

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:32 PM

36. he is where he belongs. /nt

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:48 AM

19. The Failure Fuhrer needs to be in the top three, at LEAST.

I would rank him either One or Two, depending on my feelings about the very incompetent Harding administration that day. The Borrow-and-waste-a-thon under Gee-Dumb (highlighted by two arguably corrupted elections, a preventable terrorist attack, two recessions and a doubling of the National Debt thanks to ginned-up wars of aggression and giving the surplus to the nation's wealthy) qualifies as voluntarily ruining your country's present and future to please a handful of wealthmongers.

Of course, Bewsh's horrible rubberstamp congress deserves some of the credit for his idiocy, but two full terms of this nonsense HAS to put him in the top three. It HAS to. How could it not?

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:42 PM

47. +1000

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:48 AM

20. Ronnie wasn't even mentioned. Or did I miss it? nt

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:56 PM

24. This list is horse manure.

Where's Tricky Dicky?

George Washington was corrupt and a rotten general.

Even Lincoln had some real problems too, for instance he suspended certain Constitutional rights during the Civil War.

Wilson was a racist.

Teddy Roosevelt was an imperialist, wanted an Americian empire.

Eisenhower put into place some of the worst Cold War policies, including the support for far-right dictatorships as long as they were "anti-Communist."
Eisenhower would also wait until problems became a crisis before acting.

JFK was mostly style and flash, little substance.

FDR locked up American citizens because they looked different.

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Response to Archae (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:10 PM

27. Tricky dick did some good things

EPA

He was bad, but not as incompetent then some others.

Bush, I don't think, did anything good.

if you want purity, you're in the wrong universe. There are shades of grey here, it's not dichromatic.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:12 PM

29. How do Reagan, Bush Sr, and Nixon not make the Top 10 bad president list?

They should all be near the top of the Bad list.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:18 PM

32. One thing about these lists

Makes spotting the purists easy.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:42 PM

37. Where's that piece of shit Reagan on the WORST list? n/t

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:48 PM

39. A good list overall, but I'd make some changes

 

First off, W needs to be way higher in the "Worst Presidents" section. After all, we're just beginning to recover from the disaster he unleashed upon us. Second, Andrew Jackson does not belong in the Top 10. Finally, I think Abe Lincoln should be ranked as the best president.

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Response to williamc1967txlib (Reply #39)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:33 PM

49. Washington led the country in war

He led it peace, he declined to be a king, he stepped down from being a general.

He laid the foundation. Few in history would have done better.

He deserves the front spot.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:11 PM

42. Grant & Bush have a lot in common

 

Both of their livers are known as "miracle livers" by medical science, since they managed to keep working under relentless onslaught.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:38 PM

45. Disagreement

One thing I disagree with scholars about is that Wilson should be considered one of the worst, NOT one of the best. He was a racist If I ever saw one.

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Response to Dpm12 (Reply #45)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:33 PM

50. So was Lincoln.

During the 1858 debates with Stephen Douglas, Lincoln expressed his contemporary view that he believed whites were superior to blacks. Lincoln stated he was against miscegenation and blacks to serve as jurors.

http://www.theroot.com/views/was-lincoln-racist?page=0,0

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Response to Dpm12 (Reply #45)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:44 PM

53. By 2013 Standards Yes...1912...Not So Much...

This was an extremely racist nation a century ago and it wasn't only tolerated it was encouraged. I think the rating is based on things such as setting up the Federal Reserve system that has stabilized the economy and made low cost loans available that spurred a lot of small businesses that would lead to the development of the middle class. I'm sure we can find skeletons in the closets of every President...but this rating appears to be strictly on their performance in office.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:57 PM

55. Bush should have an explanatory asterisk by his name.




He wasn't really a President. He was Unca Dick's trained chimp.





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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:06 PM

57. Truman, Jackson and Wilson on the best list?

Crap list.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:13 PM

58. I'd put Obama on the Top 10 list over Jackson or Wilson

Yes, Obama has made several missteps, and he's pissed some us off from time to time. But overall, I think he's done a remarkable job given the mess he inherited, and the teabagger rethugs he's had to deal with.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:13 PM

59. Shrub Sleepwalks

Shrub zombie walks through the summer of 2001 and our country is attacked resulting in thousands of dead. Worst ever.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:16 PM

60. Oh come on.. WH Harrison spent his entire short term on his deathbed;

give him a break. Garfield should get a pass, as well.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 07:49 PM

61. Links would be useful.

Especially since there's some major disagreements.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #61)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 10:05 AM

64. I found a link, but it shows different results. /nt

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:52 AM

62. For recent Siena college ... the list is DIFFERENT.

http://www.siena.edu/pages/179.asp?item=2566

Results of Siena College Research Institute Presidential Ranking Survey

Top Ten Presidents by Survey Year


······················1982······················1990······················1994······················2002······················2010
··1····F. Roosevelt ····F. Roosevelt ····F. Roosevelt ····F. Roosevelt ····F. Roosevelt
··2··········Jefferson ··············Lincoln ··············Lincoln ··············Lincoln ····T. Roosevelt
··3··············Lincoln ··········Jefferson ····T. Roosevelt ····T. Roosevelt ··············Lincoln
··4········Washington ········Washington ········Washington ········Washington ········Washington
··5····T. Roosevelt ····T. Roosevelt ··········Jefferson ··········Jefferson ··········Jefferson
··6················Wilson ················Wilson ················Wilson ················Wilson ··············Madison
··7················Truman ················Truman ················Truman ················Truman ················Monroe
··8··············Kennedy ··············Madison ········Eisenhower ················Monroe ················Wilson
··9··············Madison ··············Jackson ··············Madison ··············Madison ················Truman
·10············J. Adams ··············Kennedy ··············Kennedy ········Eisenhower ··········Eisenhower

THE WORST:
····························1982····························1990····························1994····························2002····························2010
···1··········Harding (39) ··········Harding (40) ··········Harding (41) ····A. Johnson (42) ····A. Johnson (43)
···2····A. Johnson (38) ····A. Johnson (39) ····A. Johnson (40) ········Buchanan (41) ········Buchanan (42)
···3········Buchanan (37) ········Buchanan (38) ········Buchanan (39) ··········Harding (40) ··········Harding (41)
···4··············Grant (36) ··············Grant (37) ··············Grant (38) ············Pierce (39) ············Pierce (40)
···5············Pierce (35) ············Pierce (36) ············Pierce (37) ········Fillmore (38) ············GW Bush (39)




DU3 Changed how we can display code. I'll have to work on another workaround.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:54 AM

63. Scholars? Yeah. Right.

If there were audio on DU you would hear my derisive snort.

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Response to Dpm12 (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:39 PM

65. List

This is what is COMMONLY found on most lists. And it is NOT necessarily in order, I just put them on in any order. That Sienna list was (slightly) close to what was on this list. I should have put down the link for that one list I found that had ALL THESE presidents that are commonly listed, true, but these were the results.

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