He’s right that presidents in living memory overperform in these things, and Reagan probably got a bump this year from coverage of the centennial of his birth and the conservative resurgence last November. Three points, though. One: Er, Lincoln finished second, Washington came fifth, and FDR finished sixth. Not a bad showing for long-dead presidents, and it would have been even better had the lasting, absurd Boomer fascination with JFK not propelled him to fourth. Two: Is this really an argument Matthews wants to make on the very day that his new hagiography of Bill Clinton debuts? (Actual title: “President of the World.”) Talk about grading recent mediocrities on a curve.
And third: Isn’t there someone else on this list who proves his thesis much more elegantly? Good lord, America. How high would unemployment have to be to get The One knocked down to eighth place? Click the image to watch.