Abraham Lincoln: Still The Best

A survey of American presidents, conducted recently by Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN), has ranked Abraham Lincoln as the best president of the country, while recently former President Barack Obama has been ranked as the 12th best.
The list of 43 former presidents, compiled by a panel of 91 historians and executive branch experts at C-SPAN, was the third such survey. Presidents have been rated on a scale of 1-10 on ten attributes, including crisis leadership, economic management and political vision.
Although Lincoln – who served as president from 1861 to 1865 – failed to get the Congress’ support, he had excellent leadership quality (especially during the crisis period), administrative skills and a clear vision.
Interestingly, first US President George Washington (presidential term 1789-97) secured the second position in the list. Members of the C-SPAN panel believe that President Washington failed to ensure equal justice for all, but his moral authority was high. The first president, who also had superb economic management skills, performed his duties well within the context of times.
The third in the list is Franklin D Roosevelt, who served as president during the WWII (1933-45). Roosevelt, too, failed to ensure equal justice for all. However, his public persuasion skills were very good. During his tenure, the President’s Office maintained healthy relations with the Congress.
President Obama tried hard to ensure equal justice for all, as he ruled with moral authority and tackled economic crisis quite efficiently. However, relations between the President’s Office and the Congress deteriorated during his presidency (2009-17). Obama found his place just under President Woodrow Wilson (1913-21) and right above President James Monroe (1817-25).
Historian Douglas Brinkley of Rice University in Houston said that Obama’s presidency, despite its weak points, might age well and notch a higher rank as time passes. “Once again the Big Three are Lincoln, Washington and FDR – as it should be. That Obama came in at No 12 his first time out is quite impressive,” he stressed. According to Howard University historian Edna Greene Medford, Obama’s 12th ranking is very much respectable, as he manages to outrank George W Bush (ranked 33) and Bill Clinton (ranked 15).
Interestingly, William Henry Harrison, who died in 1841 after just a month in office, has been ranked 38th, ahead of five other presidents. As far as other presidents are concerned, Ronald Reagan (1981-89) has secured the ninth position and Andrew Jackson (1829-37) the 18th.
Meanwhile, James Buchanan has been named as the worst president for his incompetence to address onset of the American civil war. During his tenure (1857-61), Buchanan not only failed to tackle the crisis, but also failed to bring equal justice. His relations with the Congress were very poor.
C-SPAN is an American cable and satellite television network that was created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service.

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