New presidential ranking places Obama 12th

In this 2014 photo, President Obama meets with economic advisers.
In this 2014 photo, President Obama meets with economic advisers.
White House Photo: Pete Souza
One month after his final day in the White House, a newly released ranking by historians places Barack Obama 12th among 43 presidents. 

     The C-SPAN 2017 Survey of Presidential Leadership, released Friday, named Abraham Lincoln as the best president in the estimation of the 91 historians and professional observers who participated. George Washington was ranked second on the list. 
      They ranked the presidents using a scale of one to 10, with one being "not effective" and 10 being "very effective." Presidents were ranked on 10 leadership qualities:
  • Public persuasion;
  • Crisis leadership;
  • Economic management; 
  • Moral authority; 
  • International relations; 
  • Administrative skills; 
  • Relations with Congress;
  • Vision/setting an agenda; 
  • Pursued equal justice for all; 
  • Performance within the context of his times.

    Such rankings are occasionally published, and results can differ. For example, another ranking done by the Siena Research Institute in 2010 put Franklin Delano Roosevelt on top. While there have been 44 administrations (45 including Donald Trump) there are 43 names: Grover Cleveland served two nonconsecutive terms.
      Here is the overall ranking:

  1. Abraham Lincoln, 16th president.
  2. George Washington, first president.
  3. Franklin Roosevelt, 32nd president.
  4. Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president.
  5. Dwight Eisenhower, 34th president.
  6. Harry Truman, 33rd president. 
  7. Thomas Jefferson, third president. 
  8. John F. Kennedy, 35th president.
  9. Ronald Reagan, 40th president. 
  10. Lyndon Johnson, 36th president.
  11. Woodrow Wilson, 28th president.
  12. Barack Obama, 44th president.
  13. James Monroe, fifth president.
  14. James Polk, 11th president.
  15. Bill Clinton, 42nd president.
  16. William McKinley, 25th president.
  17. James Madison, fourth president.
  18. Andrew Jackson, seventh president.
  19. John Adams, second president.
  20. George H.W. Bush, 41st president.
  21. John Quincy Adams, sixth president.
  22. Ulysses Grant, 18th president. 
  23. Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th president.
  24. William Taft, 27th president.
  25. Gerald Ford, 38th president.
  26. Jimmy Carter, 39th president.
  27. Calvin Coolidge, 30th president.
  28. Richard Nixon, 37th president.
  29. James Garfield, 20th president.
  30. Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president.
  31. Zachary Taylor,12th president.
  32. Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th president.
  33. George W. Bush, 43rd president.
  34. Martin Van Buren, eighth president. 
  35. Chester Arthur, 21st president.
  36. Herbert Hoover, 31st president.
  37. Millard Fillmore, 13th president.
  38. William Henry Harrison, ninth president.
  39. John Tyler, 10th president.
  40. Warren Harding, 29th president.
  41. Franklin Pierce, 14th president. 
  42. Andrew Johnson, 17th president.
  43. James Buchanan, 15th president.

   See the complete ranking in all categories on C-SPAN's website


   Ranking the presidents, best to worst  

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