According to a recent C-SPAN survey of 91 Presidential historians, Barack Obama is the 12th best President in US history. This is the highest ranking of a former President since Ronald Reagan who finished 9th in the same report.
“Historians gave Obama high marks for pursuing equality, managing the economy, public persuasion and “moral authority.” On the other hand, he was judged to have been below-average in handling international relations. Overall, he placed ahead of such generally well-regarded chief executives as James Monroe and James Polk.” The top three spots remained unchanged with Abraham Lincoln taking the top spot, followed by George Washington and FDR.
The most interesting fact about the C-SPAN poll is the rise and fall of Presidents as their presidencies are taken into context. Take President Ulysses S Grant. “In 2000, the scandal-plagued Grant was ranked in the bottom quarter of all presidents. But history has recently taken note of Grant’s personal honesty, his commitment to human rights and his international popularity.” History had not been as kind to other once well regarded Presidents such as Woodrow Wilson who’s post-World War I map of the Middle East result in the catalyst of today’s War on Terrorism. Time will tell if President Obama’s legacy will increase or fall, but for now, Obama is enjoying a bit of a Renaissance as many Americans are now better understanding the impact a President of the United States can have.