Happy Presidents' Day! On a day like today, we think back on that small set of men who have guided or mis-guided this nation. Some among us want to rank them, much as we do sports teams, cars or TV sets. I wonder how Consumer's Reports would do it. C-Span gives us their annual rankings, as judged by the panel of historians, and the top five are always much the same, year after year: Lincoln, George Washington, FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, and Harry S Truman in the top five slots.
The battle for the basement, however, seems to shift from year to year. Relatives of those bottom-cellar dwellers hold their breath hoping that their man is not dead last. If your name is Buchanan, you are the pits this go-round. Andrew Johnson's relatives breathe a sigh of relief, at least for this year. Franklin Pierce is third from the bottom and Ohio's William Henry Harrison is four from the bottom, although the poor man was in office only 30 days, mostly on his death bed, for crying out loud!
Ohio's Warren G. Harding fell lower than Millard Fillmore for the next slot. Harding was rated worst in Moral Authority and Crisis Leadership and poor in Administrative Skills, Vision / Setting an Agenda, and Performance Within Context of Times.
Millard Filmore, saddled with that awful name, was just able to see light as #37 of 42. Filmore is rated very low in "Pursued Equal Justice For All." His enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law no doubt tumbled him into the cellar with all of the other ne'erdowells.
George W. Bush is next. Anybody surprised? Not very many of my friends and family are; after all, we barely survived these past 8 years. Any guesses on the areas of his lowest scores? After some musing, find out here.