Historians rank Trump just below the US president, while Obama rises to the top 10

Donald Trump remains the face of the Republican Party and its most influential figure.
Historians rank Trump the worst president in terms of “moral authority” and “administrative skills.”
Abraham Lincoln tops the list in each of the four polls.
The lowest-ranking president is James Buchanan, who started the civil war.
Donald Trump is placed at the bottom of all US presidents by a group of historians and receives the lowest marks for leading any commander-in-chief who has served in the White House for the past 150 years.

The Presidents’ 10 Leadership Skills Assessments, the fourth in a C-SPAN series, include assessments from 142 professional historians and observers from the Presidency.

The results underscore the duality of Trump’s position, which is unparalleled among his counterparts. After his discontent triumph in 2016 and his defeat in 2020, historians have held him in the lowest esteem of all presidents since shortly after the civil war. But he remains the face of the Republican Party and its most influential figure, and is considered a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

In this June 7, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama gestures during a statement on the Affordable Care Act Friday in San Jose, California.
Among other modern presidents, Barack Obama has risen to 10th place, compared to 12th in the last C-SPAN historian poll in 2017. Ronald Reagan ranks 9th; Bill Clinton in 19th place; George H. W. Bush at 21st and George W. Bush at 29th.

Richard Nixon, the only president to resign in a scandal, is ranked 31st.

Donald Trump classification
Trump is the only president to be indicted twice by the House of Representatives, first for demanding political favors from Ukraine in exchange for military aid, then for inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6 to stop the school’s arrest results. electoral certification. by Congress.

The Senate voted to acquit him in both impeachment proceedings.

In the past, Trump has called himself “a huge history buff,” but he routinely scoffs at criticism from historians and other “elites” and dismisses it as unwarranted and unfair. Experts “don’t see the forest for the trees,” he complained in a 2016 interview.

Former President Donald Trump holds a campaign-style rally in Wellington, Ohio, on June 26, 2021.
Historians rate Trump as the worst president in history on two out of ten characteristics, “moral authority” and “administrative ability.” His strongest position is “public conviction”, which is why he landed in 32nd place.

Since 2000, C-SPAN has participated in the survey whenever there is a change in the White House administration. The public affairs network, known for its harsh coverage of the House and Senate, said it had significantly increased the number of participating historians and their diversity in terms of race, gender, age and philosophy in this year’s poll.

Lincoln up, Buchanan down
Abraham Lincoln tops the list in each of the four polls. George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt are also in the top five. Dwight Eisenhower finished fifth this year and 2017.

The lowest-ranking president is James Buchanan, Lincoln’s predecessor, whose divided tenure helped spark the Civil War.

Presidential historian Richard Norton Smith, a consultant on the poll, said the stability at the top and bottom of the list was remarkable.

“In contrast, it seems much more likely that living presidents will fluctuate,” he said. “It’s almost as if there is a boomerang effect where historians go a bit overboard when presidents leave office and are at the bottom of their partisan reputation and then rise to less political status.”

The category that has changed the most in the past two decades is that which focuses on the pursuit of equal justice, a topic that historians and others are increasingly exploring. In this sense, Ulysses S. Grant and Calvin Coolidge have improved the most, while those of Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and Nixon have deteriorated the most.


Back to top button