Presidential List Fun – More on Presidential rankings

All this talk of the best/worst President got me in the mood for a little exploration. After poking around the net for a while I came across a ranking done for the Wall Street Journal by the Federalist Society. The report is from 2000 so George W Bush isn’t included.

Much of the list is of no surprise to anyone. Washington, Lincoln, and FDR hold the top three spots respectively. Johnson, Pierce, Harding, and Buchanan are labeled as failures by the survey. The majority of our presidents (26 of 39 at the time) rank average or above.

The most interesting section of the survey is the overrated/underrated section.
Top Five Overrated
Kennedy
Reagan
Wilson
Jackson
Jefferson

Top Five Underrated
Reagan
Coolidge
Eisenhower
Hoover
Polk

Well if Reagan makes both the top of the overrated and underrated list I’d say his ranking is fair. Conservatives loved Reagan for brining their party back from the brink and liberals hated him liberals for, well, making liberal a four letter word. There was such an interesting duality to much of the Reagan presidency. Reagan showed a personal tolerance to the homosexual community, but did not support LGBT legislation. Reagan’s influence was a major factor in reducing nuclear weapons and helping to end the Cold War, yet Iran-Contra occurred under his administration(despite debate on Reagan’s actual involvement in the scandal). “Just say no” just didn’t work. Reagan’s record of the environment was dismal. The GPD grew during Reagan’s presidency as unemployment shrank. According to Milton Friedman, Reagan’s tax policies led to the boom of the 1990s. You can find as many pro Reaganomic articles as you can con. Mixed opinions too.

All right, who’s most overrated/underrated?

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