1. John Adams (1735-1826). Federalist. Served under George Washington, 1789-97; home state: MA; profession: lawyer.
2. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826). Democratic-Republican. Served under John Adams, 1797-1801; home state VA; profession: lawyer, planter, public official.
3. Aaron Burr (1756-1836). Democratic-Republican. Served under Thomas Jefferson, 1801-05; home state: NY; profession: public official.
4. George Clinton (1744-1814). Democratic-Republican. Served under Thomas Jefferson, 1805-09, James Madison, 1809-12; home state: NY profession: public official.
5. Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814). Democratic-Republican. Served under James Madison, 1813-14; home state: MA; profession: public official.
6. Daniel D. Tompkins (1774-1825). Democratic-Republican. Served under James Monroe, 1817-25; home state: NY; profession: lawyer and public official.
7. John C. Calhoun (1782-1850). Served as Democratic-Republican under John Quincy Adams, 1825-29; as Democrat under Andrew Jackson, 1829-32; home state: SC; profession: lawyer and public official.
8. Martin Van Buren (1782-1862). Democrat. Served under Andrew Jackson, 1833-37; home state: NY; profession: lawyer and public official.
9. Richard M. Johnson (1780-1850). Democrat. Served under Martin Van Buren, 1837-41; home state: KY; profession: public official.
10. John Tyler (1790-1862). Whig. Served under William H. Harrison, March 4-April 4, 1841; home state: VA; profession: lawyer and public official.
11. George M. Dallas (1792-1864). Democrat. Served under James K. Polk, 1845-49; home state: PA; profession: public official and diplomat.
12. Millard Fillmore (1800-1874). Whig. Served under Zachary Taylor, 1849-50; home state: NY; profession: teacher, lawyer, public official.
13. William R. D. King (1786-1853). Democrat. Served under Franklin Pierce, March 4-April 18, 1853; home state: AL; profession: lawyer, public official, diplomat.
14. John C. Breckinridge (1821-75). Democrat. Served under James Buchanan, 1857-61; home state: KY; profession: lawyer and public official.
15. Hannibal Hamlin (1809-1891). Republican. Served under Abraham Lincoln, 1861-65; home state: ME; profession: lawyer and public official.
16. Andrew Johnson (1808-1875). National Union (Republican). Served under Abraham Lincoln, March 4-April 15, 1865; home state: TN; profession: tailor and public official.
17. Schuyler Colfax (1823-1885). Republican. Served under Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-73; home state: IN; profession: newspaperman and public official.
18. Henry Wilson (1812-1875). Republican. Served under Ulysses S. Grant, 1873-75; home state: MA; profession: factory owner and public official.
19. William A. Wheeler (1819-1887). Republican. Served under Rutherford B. Hayes, 1877-81; home state: NY; profession: business and public official.
20. Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886). Republican. Served under James A. Garfield, March 4-Sept. 20, 1881; home state: NY; profession: lawyer.
21. Thomas A. Hendricks (1819-1885). Democrat. Served under Grover Cleveland, March 4- Nov. 25, 1885; home state: IN; profession: lawyer and public official.
22. Levi P. Morton (1824-1920). Republican. Served under Benjamin Harrison, 1889-93; home state: NY; profession: banker and public official.
23. Adlai E. Stevenson (1835-1914). Democrat. Served under Grover Cleveland, 1893-97; home state: IL; profession: public official.
24. Garret A. Hobart (1844-1899). Republican. Served under William McKinley, 1897-99; home state: NJ; profession: lawyer and public official.
25. Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919). Republican. Served under William McKinley, March 4-Sept. 14, 1901; home state: NY; profession: historian and public official.
26. Charles W. Fairbanks (1852-1918). Republican. Served under Theodore Roosevelt, 1905-09; home state: IN; profession: financier and public official.
27. James S. Sherman (1855-1912). Republican. Served under William Howard Taft, 1909-12; home state: NY; profession: public official.
28. Thomas Marshall (1854-1925). Democrat. Served under Woodrow Wilson, 1913-21; home state: IN; profession: lawyer and public official.
29. Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933). Republican. Served under Warren G. Harding, 1921-23; home state: MA; profession: lawyer and public official.
30. Charles G. Dawes (1865-1951). Republican. Served under Calvin Coolidge, 1925-29; home state: IL; profession: financier and diplomat.
31. Charles Curtis (1860-1936). Republican. Served under Herbert Hoover, 1929-33; home state: KS; profession: lawyer and public official.
32. John N. Garner (1868-1967). Democrat. Served under Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933-41; home state: TX; profession: public official.
33. Henry A. Wallace (1888-1965). Democrat. Served under Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941-45; home state: IA; profession: editor and agribusinessman.
34. Harry S. Truman (1884-1972). Democrat. Served under Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jan. 20-April 12, 1945; home state: MO; profession: public official.
35. Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956). Democrat. Served under Harry S. Truman, 1949-53; home state: KY; profession: public official.
36. Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994). Republican. Served under Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953-61; home state: CA; profession: public official.
37. Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973). Democrat. Served under John F. Kennedy, Jan. 20, 1961- Nov. 22, 1963; home state: TX; profession: public official.
38. (1908-1973). Democrat. Served under Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965-69; home state: MN; profession: public official.
39. Spiro T. Agnew (1918- ). Republican. Served under Richard M. Nixon, Jan. 20, 1969-Oct. 10, 1973; home state: MD; profession: public official.
40. Gerald R. Ford (1913- ). Republican. Served under Richard M. Nixon, Dec. 6, 1973- Aug. 9, 1974; home state: MI; profession: public official.
41. Nelson A. Rockefeller (1908-1979). Republican. Served under Gerald R. Ford, Dec. 19, 1974- Jan. 20, 1977; home state: NY; profession: public official.
42. Walter F. Mondale (1928- ). Democrat. Served under Jimmy Carter, 1977-81; home state: MN; profession: public official.
43. George Bush (1924- ). Republican. Served under Ronald Reagan, 1981-89; home state: TX; profession: oilman and public official.
44. J. Danforth Quayle (1947- ). Republican. Served under George Bush, 1989-93; home state: IN; profession: lawyer and public official.
45. Albert A. Gore, Jr. (1948- ). Democrat. Served under Bill Clinton, 1993- ; home state: TN; profession: public official.
(1941- ) Republican. Serving under George W. Bush 2000- : Home State Wyoming. profession: Chmn. & CEO of Halliburton Co., a large energy equipment and construction firm based in Dallas and public official.
Did you know? What organization is this? It has a little over 500 employees with the following statistics:
- 29 have been accused of spousal abuse
- 7 have been arrested for fraud
- 19 have been accused of writing bad checks
- 117 have bankrupted at least two businesses
- 3 have been arrested for assault
- 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
- 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
- 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
- 21 are current defendants in lawsuits
- In 1998 alone, 84 were stopped for drunk driving
Can you guess which organization this is?
It's was the 535 members of your United States Congress. The same group that perpetually cranks out hundreds upon hundreds of new laws designed to keep the rest of us in! line. (The 105th congress)
Look what happens when a President gets elected in a year with a "0"at the end.
1840: William Henry Harrison (died in office)
1860: Abraham Lincoln (assassinated)
1880: James A. Garfield (assassinated)
1900: William McKinley (assassinated)
1920: Warren G. Harding (died in office)
1940: Franklin D. Roosevelt (died in office)
1960: John F. Kennedy (assassinated)
1980: Ronald Reagan (survived assassination attempt)
2000: George W. Bush
John F. Lincoln?
Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.
Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.
Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.
Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
Both Presidents were shot in the head.
Now it gets really weird.
Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln.
Both were assassinated by Southerners.
Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.
Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808. Lyndon Johnson,
who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.
John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839. Lee Harvey
Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.
Both assassins were known by their three names.
Both names are composed of fifteen letters.
Now hang on to your seat.
Lincoln was shot at the theater named "Ford."
Kennedy was shot in a car called "Lincoln" made by "Ford." Booth and Oswald
were assassinated before their trials.
A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland. A week before
Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.
Scholar surveys details
The 1948 poll was conducted by historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr. of Harvard University (). The 1962 survey was also conducted by Schlesinger, who surveyed 75 historians; the results of this survey are given in the book The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents by William A. Degregorio. Schlesinger's son Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. conducted another poll in 1996, not currently on the above chart.
The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents also gives the results of the 1982 survey, a poll of 49 historians conducted by the Chicago Tribune. A notable difference from the 1962 Schlesinger poll was the ranking of President Eisenhower, who was ranked #22 in 1962, but was ranked #9 in the 1982 survey.
Andrew Johnson (1865-69) routinely receives poor marks due to his handling of Reconstruction
The Siena Research Institute of Siena College conducted surveys in 1982, 1990, 1994, and 2002. The 1994 survey placed only two Presidents, Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, above 80 points, and placed two Presidents, Andrew Johnson and Warren G. Harding, below 50 points.
The 1996 column shows the results from a poll conducted from 1989 to 1996 by William J. Ridings, Jr. and Stuart B. McIver, and published in the book Rating the Presidents: A Ranking of U.S. leaders, from the Great and Honorable to the Dishonest and Incompetent. More than 719 people took part in the poll, primarily academic historians and political scientists, although some politicians and celebrities also took part. Participants from every state were included, and emphasis was placed upon getting input from female historians and "specialists in African-American studies", as well as a few non-American historians. Poll respondents rated the Presidents in five categories (leadership qualities, accomplishments & crisis management, political skill, appointments, character & integrity), and the results were tabulated to create the overall ranking.
The C-SPAN Survey of Presidential Leadership was a 1999 survey of academic historians. It found that historians consider Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin D. Roosevelt the three best presidents by a wide margin and William Henry Harrison, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan the worst.
A 2000 survey by The Wall Street Journal was published in Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and Worst in the White House, and is also available online. The participants consisted of an "ideologically balanced group of 132 prominent professors of history, law, and political science". This poll sought to include an equal number of liberals and conservatives in the survey, as the editors argued that previous polls were dominated by either one group or the other, but never balanced. The editors noted that the results of their poll were "remarkably similar" to the "mostly liberal" 1996 Schlesinger poll, with the main difference being the much higher ranking in the 2000 poll of President Ronald Reagan at #8 and lower rankings for the 1960s presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy. Franklin D. Roosevelt's ranking remained in the top three. According to the editors, this poll also included responses from more women, minorities, and young professors than the 1996 Schlesinger poll.
Another presidential poll was conducted by The Wall Street Journal in 2005, with James Lindgren of Northwestern University Law School for the Federalist Society. () As in the 2000 survey, the editors sought to balance the opinions of liberals and conservatives, adjusting the results "to give Democratic- and Republican-leaning scholars equal weight." Editor James Taranto noted that Democratic-leaning scholars rated George W. Bush the sixth-worst president of all time, while Republican scholars rated him the sixth-best, giving President Bush an overall rating of "average".
Liberal and Conservative raters
The Murray-Blessing 1982 survey asked historians whether they were liberal or conservative on domestic, social and economic issues. The table below shows that the two groups had only small differences in ranking the best and worst presidents.
Rankings by Liberals and Conservatives
Source: Murray and Blessing p 135
While no survey of libertarian historians has appeared, two libertarian economists Vedder and Gallaway created their own rankings by using only the percentage increase in government spending and increase in price index as negative indicators (the lower the better). Slavery was not measured. The postwar presidencies of Andrew Johnson and Grant, Harding, and Monroe rank best.
Quinnipiac University poll
A Quinnipiac University poll, taken May 23-30, 2006, asked 1,534 registered American voters to pick the best and worst U.S. President of the last 61 years.
"Thinking about the United States Presidents we have had since World War II Ha Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Senior, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, which one would you consider the best president?"
Ronald Reagan (28%)
Bill Clinton (25%)
John Kennedy (18%)
Harry Truman (7%)
Dwight Eisenhower (5%)
Jimmy Carter (5%)
Don't Know/No Answer (4%)
George W. Bush (3%)
George H. W. Bush (2%)
Lyndon Johnson (1%)
Richard Nixon (1%)
Gerald Ford (1%)
Ronald Reagan has fared well in recent public opinion polls about Presidential greatness.
"Which of these eleven presidents we have had since World War II would you consider the worst president - Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Senior, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush?"
George W. Bush (34%)
Richard Nixon (17%)
Bill Clinton (16%)
Jimmy Carter (13%)
Don't Know/No Answer (5%)
Lyndon Johnson (4%)
Ronald Reagan (3%)
George H. W. Bush (3%)
Gerald Ford (2%)
Harry Truman (1%)
John Kennedy (1%)
Dwight Eisenhower (<1%)
Washington College poll
A Washington College poll about presidential greatness, taken 11 February 2005, asked 800 adults nationwide, "Thinking about all the presidents of the United States throughout history to the present, who would you say was America's greatest president?"
Abraham Lincoln (20%)
Ronald Reagan (15%)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (12%)
John F. Kennedy (11%)
Bill Clinton (10%)
Other/Don't Know (9%)
George W. Bush (8%)
George Washington (6%)
Theodore Roosevelt (3%)
Dwight Eisenhower (3%)
Jimmy Carter (2%)
Thomas Jefferson (2%)
Richard Nixon (1%)
John Adams (<1%)
Andrew Jackson (<1%)
Lyndon Johnson (<1%)
FDR is consistently mentioned as one of the greatest Presidents of all time.
A Gallup poll about presidential greatness, taken 7-10 February 2005, asked 1008 adults nationwide, "Who do you regard as the greatest United States president?"
Ronald Reagan (20%)
Bill Clinton (15%)
Abraham Lincoln (14%)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (12%)
John F. Kennedy (12%)
Other/None/No opinion (5%)
George Washington (5%)
George W. Bush (5%)
Jimmy Carter (3%)
Harry Truman (2%)
Theodore Roosevelt (2%)
Thomas Jefferson (2%)
George H.W. Bush (1%)
Dwight Eisenhower (1%)
Richard Nixon (1%)
An ABC News poll about presidential greatness, taken 16-20 February 2000, asked 1012 adults nationwide, "Who do you think was the greatest American president?"
Abraham Lincoln (19%)
John Kennedy (17%)
Franklin Roosevelt (11%)
No opinion (10%)
Ronald Reagan (9%)
George Washington (8%)
Bill Clinton (7%)
Theodore Roosevelt (4%)
George H.W. Bush (4%)
Thomas Jefferson (3%)
Harry Truman (2%)
Richard Nixon (2%)
Jimmy Carter (1%)
Dwight Eisenhower (1%)
Over 1000 scholars have participated in the surveys. The issue of the validity of the rankings has been of special interest to historians and political scientists, who have tried to specify the relative importance of personality, leadership, issues and partisanship. Quantitative ranking by groups of scholars have been in favor in recent decades, displacing the traditional methods of evaluation by individual writers as typified by Bailey (1966) and most biographers. For a description of each of the polls, see the survey details section below.
Because Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms and is counted as both the 22nd and 24th President, the total number of Presidents in each poll is at least one less than the number of the most recently-serving President in the poll. Because of their short time in office, Presidents William Henry Harrison and James Garfie
ld are sometimes omitted from these polls. Current U.S. president George W. Bush is also absent in some rankings because his term is not yet completed.
Presidents by average scholar rank
Abraham Lincoln is often considered the greatest president for his leadership during the American Civil War and his eloquence in speeches such as the Gettysburg Address.
American Civil War leadership to preserve the Union and abolish slavery, Emancipation Proclamation, Homestead Act, Gettysburg Address, Thirteenth Amendment
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Leadership during World War II and Great Depression, fireside chats, New Deal, including SEC, Social Security, unemployment insurance, Fair Labor Standards Act, Federal Open Market Committee to manage the money supply, Civilian Conservation Corps, extensive infrastructure investments through the Works Progress Administration and other agencies, rural electrification, FDIC, Federal Housing Administration, National Labor Relations Act, Good Neighbor policy with Latin America, Lend-Lease, Four Freedoms, Atlantic Charter, Manhattan Project, Japanese American internment, unconditional surrender doctrine, proposed United Nations, overcame Paraplegia due to Poliomyelitis, won presidency four times, Imperial Presidency, G.I. Bill
First President, founding father of the republic, establishment of many precedents through acts such as Judiciary Act of 1789, Residence Act of 1790, Bank Act of 1791, Coinage Act of 1792, Naval Act of 1794, establishment of the United States Cabinet, response towards the Whiskey Rebellion, relinquished power uneventfully after two terms
Set precedent for peaceful transfer of power between rival political parties, Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition, intellectual leadership for liberty, separation of church and state advocate, states' rights, wrote the Declaration of Independence
Charisma, conservationism, trust-busting, Hepburn Act, safe food regulations, "Square Deal," Panama Canal, Great White Fleet, Nobel Peace Prize for negotiation of peace in Russo-Japanese War
World War I leadership, created Federal Reserve, Federal Trade Commission, Clayton Antitrust Act, progressive income tax, lower tarriffs, women's suffrage (reluctantly), Treaty of Versailles, sought 14 points post-war plan, League of Nations (but failed to win U.S. ratification), won Nobel Peace Prize,
Harry S. Truman
World War II and Cold War leadership, Marshall Plan, NATO, Truman Doctrine, desegregation of armed forces, Fair Deal, ordered the use of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Korean War.
Enhanced power of presidency, defused Nullification crisis, increased political participation by American citizens, "Jacksonian democracy," eliminated national debt, Bank War, Indian Removal Act, Age of Jackson
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Cold War leadership, interstate highway system, era of peace and moderate economic prosperity, emphasized free markets but kept New Deal reforms, enforced Supreme Court desegregation, World War II Supreme Allied Commander
James K. Polk
Mexican-American War leadership, acquisition of Mexican territories (California, Texas, etc.) and much of the Oregon Territory
Set precedent for peaceful transfer of power between rival political parties, XYZ Affair, established Department of the Navy, Alien and Sedition Acts, prevented war with France
John F. Kennedy
Cold War leadership, proposed Civil Rights legislation, defused Cuban Missile Crisis, "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in West Berlin, philandering, Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Project Apollo, Peace Corps, New Frontier, early death left impression of unfulfilled promise
Blamed for mishandling War of 1812, Era of Good Feelings, main architect of United States Constitution
Lyndon B. Johnson
Vietnam War quagmire, Civil Rights, Voting Rights Act, Great Society: Medicare (United States), Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Higher Education Act of 1965, War on Poverty welfare programs, Head Start, tax cut, booming economy leading to inflation, Wilderness Act, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, Department of Transportation, expanded consumer protection, Model Cities Program, 1965 Immigration Act, clean air/soil/water laws
Cold War leadership, military build-up, Contras, Strategic Defense Initiative, helped peacefully end the Cold War with Mikhail Gorbachev, arms control treaty, advocate of free markets, economic expansion, tax cuts, sought welfare reform (enacted under Clinton), "Great Communicator," increased budget deficits, slow response to AIDS crisis, increased poverty, scandals including Iran-Contra scandal
Monroe Doctrine, Acquired Florida, admission of five states to the Union, Missouri Compromise, Rush-Bagot Treaty
Creation of both the American Federation of Labor and the Interstate Commerce Commission, violent suppression of strikes
Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War, and the Annexation of Hawaii, imperialism
John Quincy Adams
Presided during the end of the Era of Good Feelings, development of the American System
William Howard Taft
Admittance of New Mexico and Arizona, trust-busting, strengthening of Interstate Commerce Commission, belief in world peace (pacifism)
NAFTA, welfare reform, economic expansion, impeachment, balanced federal budget, deregulation of telecommunications industries, Americorps, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the Defense of Marriage Act, military intervention in Kosovo and Somalia, extended NATO to Eastern European countries, Waco Siege, Oklahoma City Bombing, attempts on health care reform, Brady Bill , Impeachment
George W. Bush
No Child Left Behind, September 11, 2001 attacks, War on Terrorism, 2001 war in Afghanistan, PATRIOT Act, Iraq War, Medicare prescription drug benefit, mishandling of Hurricane Katrina response, federal budget deficits, Guantanamo Bay detainment camp, Marriage Protection Act, withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, expansion of executive power (unitary executive theory), NSA warrantless surveillance, Military Commissions Act of 2006
Martin Van Buren
Panic of 1837, enforcement of Treaty of New Echota led to displacement of Cherokees
Rutherford B. Hayes
Compromise of 1877 and Desert Land Act of 1877
George H. W. Bush
Gulf War, president during collapse of Soviet Union, economic recession, broke "No New Taxes" pledge, NAFTA trade treaty
Chester A. Arthur
Revitalization of U.S. Navy, civil service reform
Camp David Accords, Iranian hostage crisis, stagflation and energy crisis, image of ineffective leadership, appointed Paul Volcker chairman of the Federal Reserve to end inflation, deregulation legislation, sought energy legislation
Lack of charisma, pardoned Richard Nixon, Whip inflation now, Helsinki Accords
Handling of onset of the Great Depression, handling of Bonus Army demonstration, Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
Failure to convince country of his leadership capabilities, tariff issue handling, loss of party leader support
Lack of interest in exerting executive or federal power (regarded as a strength by some); Kellogg-Briand Pact;
Vietnam War, Normalization of relations with China, d tenttente, Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, Clean Water Act, creation of Environmental Protection Agency, wage and price controls, corruption (Watergate scandal, harrassment of opponents via FBI and IRS), resignation to avoid impeachment
James A. Garfield
Brief administration (six months), death prompted the Civil Service Act and modern bureaucracy (limiting the spoils system)
Short term, opposed slavery expansion westward, did not support Compromise
Lack of support from any political party, post-presidency service in Confederate House of Representatives
Fugitive Slave Act, lack of leadership during growing sectional divisiveness, Perry expedition and Convention of Kanagawa
Administration (but not Grant himself) corrupt; Civil Rights Act of 1871 (including activities to breakup the Ku Klux Klan Act); failures during Reconstruction, alcoholism
William Henry Harrison
Briefest administration (30 days)
Impeded Reconstruction, vetoed civil rights legislation, impeachment
Failure to avert to Civil War, Kansas-Nebraska Act, Gadsden Purchase, poor leadership, died from alcoholism
Failure to avert Civil War, failed to act during secession crisis, Dred Scott v. Sandford, prone to frequent bouts of depression which affected his leadership, ruined his party
Warren G. Harding
Corrupt and short administration, Teapot Dome Scandal, opposed Wilson's League of Nations, moved America into isolationism as president, presided over beginning of the "Roaring Twenties"