5. It's always more about how WE see the President than about him (or her, hopefully soon).
JFK wasn't a 'great' because of his accomplishments in office, which were few. He was a 'great' because of the FEELINGS of the population of the country ... what "we the people" projected upon him and invested in him. That's what it's all about, really, about the feelings and optimism and mythologies and aspirations and confidence and respect THE PEOPLE have in the individual. Yes, the person must behave in a manner that isn't overtly contradictory to the values projected upon him, but when push comes to shove it's NOT about him -- it's about US.
Obama knows this. He's said it. It's just one more reason we can choose to be confident in him -- he's "keepin' it real." To the degree that right-wingers invested such feelings in Duhbya (choosing NOT to see his clay feet), there is a valid basis for elevating his ranking. (That does NOT prevent me from regarding him and the Dick as War Criminals who belong in prison.)
But it IS about US ... and whether WE choose, in concert, to adopt a confident, optimistic, unified attitude. There are a LOT of "players" in creating and maintaining this mindset, but virtually every "player" is so because THE PEOPLE choose to be affected by them, whether they be the media, other politicians, or the Ruling Class. In the final analysis, absolutely NOBODY can have power over THE PEOPLE'S attitudes without THE PEOPLE'S consent.
It's said that Nobody can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission. (I agree.) Likewise, nobody can affect the feelings and attitudes of We The People without the Consent of We The People.
That Consent comes with a price ... and an even bigger price for refusing to give it anymore once given.
"It is always sound business to take any obtainable net gain, at any cost and at any risk to the rest of the community." (Thorstein Veblen)