Abraham Lincoln ranks #1 in new poll

MA-Caver

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Lincoln ranked best president by historians

By NATASHA T. METZLER, Associated Press Writer Natasha T. Metzler, Associated Press Writer Sun Feb 15, 2:05 pm ET
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090215/ap_on_go_pr_wh/ranking_presidentsWASHINGTON Just days after the nation honored the 200th anniversary of his birth, 65 historians ranked Abraham Lincoln as the nation's best president.
Former President George W. Bush, who left office last month, was ranked 36th out of the 42 men who had been chief executive by the end of 2008, according to a survey conducted by the cable channel C-SPAN.
Bush scored lowest in international relations, where he was ranked 41st, and in economic management, where he was ranked 40th. His highest ranking, 24th, was in the category of pursuing equal justice for all. He was ranked 25th in crisis leadership and vision and agenda setting.
In contrast, Lincoln was ranked in the top three in each of the 10 categories evaluated by participants.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/16/presidential.survey/
http://www.c-span.org/PresidentialSurvey/presidential-leadership-survey.aspx
slide show of the results : http://www.c-span.org/PresidentialSurvey/PresidentialSurvey_SlideShow/index.html
Very interesting poll and while many of the "middle presidents' scored low a few did aid the country in one way or another. By "middle presidents" I mean those who basically served their 4 years with out really leaving a notable mark on history.
 

Bob Hubbard

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The Lincoln Cult's PR campaign at work. The jump for Grant was interesting. His administration was one of the most corrupt in US history, he was a drunk, and his vicious campaign qualified as war crimes even then. Considering those 2, give Dubya a hundred years, he'll be in the top 5 best.
 
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The Lincoln Cult's PR campaign at work. The jump for Grant was interesting. His administration was one of the most corrupt in US history, he was a drunk, and his vicious campaign qualified as war crimes even then. Considering those 2, give Dubya a hundred years, he'll be in the top 5 best.
I would agree that Grant's campaign against the Native Americans in this country would qualify as war crimes against an indigenous people who were doing nothing more than defending their homeland against invaders who wished to change their way of life or eradicate it.
Too bad nobody is alive today to take the blame and receive just punishments. Allowing surviving descendants of that population the right to own tax exempt casinos and contain them on generally useless plots of land isn't doing right by a damn sight.
 

Bill Mattocks

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The Lincoln Cult's PR campaign at work. The jump for Grant was interesting. His administration was one of the most corrupt in US history, he was a drunk, and his vicious campaign qualified as war crimes even then. Considering those 2, give Dubya a hundred years, he'll be in the top 5 best.

Wow, I can't agree about Grant, given what I've read on his life. I don't think he was a very good president, but I don't think he was a drunk, either. He certainly tolerated a great deal of corruption in his administration.

I don't know how history will treat former President Bush. It really doesn't matter anyway, nothing will change it.
 

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That Grant drank occasionally while on duty is a matter of record, as is the fact that on more than a few occasions he drank until intoxicated, stuporous, and violently ill. More difficult to gauge is whether this habit hampered his ability to command or (as some observers contend) propelled him toward military success even as it marked him as a failure in civilian life.
http://hnn.us/articles/42366.html

And I was referring to the "Holy 4some" of Lincoln, Grant, Sherman and Sheridan's scorcher earth policy during the "War", but the indian wars were also brutal.

The link above goes on though:
Given the high visibility his position attracted after 1861, Grant’s dependence on alcohol might well have threatened his continuance in command. Instead, through a combination of factors -- his determination to abstain when military operations were in progress; a moral strength based on religious values that has escaped the notice of many historians; and the support of relatives, subordinates, and political backers, chief among them Abraham Lincoln -- Grant persevered to play a critical role in ending America’s costliest war and restoring the Republic. Even so, he continued to fight the urge to drink through the remainder of his life, including his two terms in the White House. Grant’s death at sixty-three from cancer of the throat is usually blamed on his life-long smoking habit. However, a 1998 study conducted for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism determined that “concurrent alcohol and tobacco use significantly enhances the risk of certain cancers, particularly of the oral cavity. . . .” In the end, therefore, Grant may have lost his battle to a disease that had failed to prevent him from becoming one of the most successful soldiers of all time.

While I despise Lincoln, I don't hold the same feelings for Grant.
 

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I don't think history is left to its own. First, we have this survey, with past Presidents being pushed up and down in the ranks. It feels a bit trivial.

Also, Presidents hire people to manage their legacy. Witness the deification of Ronald Regan. He was virtually gone from the limelight post-Presidency, and yet two decades later, his "brand" looms large.
 

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Things always look different from 100 years later looking back! Well, it's hard to argue with the rough ranking of the men there.
 
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MA-Caver

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I don't think history is left to its own. First, we have this survey, with past Presidents being pushed up and down in the ranks. It feels a bit trivial.

Also, Presidents hire people to manage their legacy. Witness the deification of Ronald Regan. He was virtually gone from the limelight post-Presidency, and yet two decades later, his "brand" looms large.
Very true... a president is only PART of his administration... the people that he has under him help make him what he is...
 

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Judging a president 100 (hell, even 50) years ago by today's standards is rather moot.

Lincoln, for instance ... saw bits and pieces of a special on him yesterday and there is no question that he was a white supremacist who only wanted to keep the southern states as part of the union for economic reasons. He actually supported deporting freed slaves back to their points of origin. The only reason, in fact, he even regarded emancipation at all was the fact that it would undoubtedly completely annihilate the southern economy.

But the difference with Lincoln was this: as he learned and considered and strategized, it became apparent that he changed through the course of his presidency ... not that he stopped being a white supremacist ... but that the realization dawned upon him that emancipation, while initially wartime strategy, was really in keeping with the intent of freedom and tolerance. He recognized that if he were to be remembered for anything at all in his presidency, it would be for that.

He was right. He knew he was doing something big, knew that the good he was doing was above him and acknowledged that he was probably not worth the notoriety he would receive.

He was definitely not the grand hero we would all like to believe, but as Bob pointed out, his spin doctors helped his hero status ... "let us have the hero Lincoln..." as for the time then it was the fashion per se.

I think we're making a shift in our leader-awareness ... slowly, but it is happening on some level which means, hopefully, that it will happen on a larger scale. I *think* we're becoming a nation of truth-seekers ... of people who realize that no one man can be perfect, can be stellar ... can be purist without error, without flaw, without some wrong-doing to guide and reaffirm what is right in life.

We're all real people and it's time we stop thinking unreal people are set to lead us.
 

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for the results of this poll IMO.
 

crushing

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The Lincoln Cult's PR campaign at work. The jump for Grant was interesting. His administration was one of the most corrupt in US history, he was a drunk, and his vicious campaign qualified as war crimes even then. Considering those 2, give Dubya a hundred years, he'll be in the top 5 best.

The same for Clinton.
 

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