The latest ranking of the American presidents in a Siena College poll of historians is listed below just in time for July 4th.
There are several surprises and choices I strongly disagree with .
Lincoln was the greatest president period.
He faced down the very destruction of the United States and an internal war that neither of the Roosevelts,or even Washington faced in their lifetime and he conquered it all.
John F.Kennedy deserves to be much higher on the list as does Ronald Reagan.
Though Kennedy only served less than one term he defined an era and reshaped the presidency in an incredible way.
Apart from the style points he also began the herculean task of changing the attitude towards minority rights and set off an immense but gratifying struggle that lasted up to our current president, whose race and skin color would have automatically blocked him in the Kennedy era.
It took Ronald Reagan to pound the last nail into the coffin of communism and help free up numerous small nations as well as Russia itself in his time. Again, he confronted the biggest challenge of an era and came out ahead.
Both Reagan and Kennedy made great speeches, both in Berlin .
Kennedy's 'Ich Bein Ein Berliner' and Reagan's 'Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall.' both aimed at the destruction of communism will last for ever .
Both inspired Americans too, with their style and substance. Ask any Republican or Democrat today who their favorite president is and they will name Reagan on the GOP side and Kennedy on the other.
They continue to inspire too .
Why then put Woodrow Wilson ranked ahead of them? He was the man who blundered into the First World War and helped create the useless League of Nations?
Seems to me he failed the biggest test of his time.
Here is the complete list
F. Roosevelt 1
T. Roosevelt 2
L.B. Johnson 16
J. Adams 17
J.Q. Adams 19
G.H. Bush 22
Van Buren 23
B. Harrison 34
W.H. Harrison 35
G.W. Bush 39
A. Johnson 43
Jackie believed Lyndon B. Johnson had John F. Kennedy killed