In office for barely two years, Obama entered the survey in the 15th position – two spots behind Bill Clinton and three spots ahead of Ronald Reagan.
Obama got high marks for intelligence, ability to communicate and imagination, but his score was dragged down by his relative lack of experience and family background…
[T]he scholars rated Dubya a dud as a president, ranking him in the bottom five at 39th place…
Bush got docked for saddling Obama with two bloody wars and a recession, and he got low marks for “ability to compromise, foreign policy
accomplishments and intelligence,” according to the survey.
Only Warren G. Harding, who was 41st on the list, scored lower in the intelligence category.
Full results in PDF form here. The One came eighth overall in intelligence, right ahead of Billy Jeff, and sixth overall in the category of, ummm, “imagination.” Reagan finished fifth overall in terms of communication abilities (two spots ahead of Obama) and third in “luck,” which I can only take to be a thinly veiled judgment that the demise of the U.S.S.R. after he left office is more coincidence than cause and effect. He also gets the “amiable dunce” treatment, placing 36 out of 43 in intelligence. But don’t take it to heart. This is obviously a poll of lefty academics, with only one Republican from the 20th century (Eisenhower) appearing in the top 15. How ridiculous is it? Number one in the category of “handling the economy” is … FDR. Somewhere, Amity Shlaes is smiling.
Oh, almost forgot: The requisite sanctification of JFK is in full force here too. He placed 11th in intelligence, just above George Washington(!) and 18 slots ahead of Ulysses S. Grant, who was not only brilliant on the battlefield but who churned out one of the great memoirs in American history (highly praised by Mark Twain, among many others) while he was dying of cancer. But hey — JFK looked great on camera, so there you go.