Trump Just Made His First Appearance on Historians' Presidential Ranking List—and Hoo Boy, He Won't Be Happy
Former President Donald Trump frequently embellished his record as President during his time in the White House, repeatedly claiming that he'd achieved more in his first term than any other President in history.
Trump even favorably compared himself to Abraham Lincoln regarding his record of advocating for Black Americans, saying:
"I've done more for Black Americans than anybody, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln. Nobody has even been close."
This past week, C-SPAN released survey results of the best and worst American Presidents, as ranked by 142 presidential historians.
Lincoln tops the list, with a score of 897, followed by George Washington, both Roosevelts, Eisenhower, Truman, Jefferson, Kennedy, and Reagan. Trump's predecessor, former President Barack Obama, came in at the 10th most effective President.
C-SPAN says of its methodology:
"[P]articipants used a 1 ("not effective") to 10 ("very effective") scale to rate each president on 10 qualities of presidential leadership: Public Persuasion, Crisis Leadership, Economic Management, Moral Authority, International Relations, Administrative Skills, Relations with Congress, Vision/Setting an Agenda, Pursued Equal Justice for All and Performance Within the Context of the Times. In 2009, 2017 and 2021, following a change in administrations, subsequent surveys have been conducted using these same 10 characteristics."
Trump is tied with Franklin Pierce for the third-to-last spot, with a dismal score of 312. He was even beat out by ninth President William Henry Harrison, who only served for one month before dying. Trump ranked the lowest in the categories of "Moral Authority" and "Administrative Skills," as well as the fourth lowest in "Crisis Leadership," narrowly losing to Herbert Hoover and Hoover's bungled response to the Great Depression.
Given Trump's repeated exaggerations of his effectiveness, there was much speculation about his reaction to the list.
Somewhere Trump is doing the following after seeing President Obama among the best and himself at last:… https://t.co/B7zsxL0qRr— Jon Ramos (@Jon Ramos) 1625073563.0
It must KILL Trump and Republicans to see Obama at 10 and Trump at 41. I'd put Trump even lower given the hundreds… https://t.co/scIoOA4skU— $KRIS (@$KRIS) 1625065099.0
His critics didn't hesitate to share the results.
Spicy spicy spicy. Trump down at 41/45 is hilarious though. Well deserved. https://t.co/qZNbREHAoP— Art Vandelay, CEO (@Art Vandelay, CEO) 1625062885.0
I love how the only thing William Henry Harrison had to do to rank higher than Trump was be sentient for a month.… https://t.co/HTneIGh6Nf— Matthew Pennekamp (@Matthew Pennekamp) 1625065128.0
Don't worry MAGATs, there's a whopping two presidents that scored lower than Trump (Johnson & Buchanan). https://t.co/1zFkgylsvb— 🍍 🦉 🍍 (@🍍 🦉 🍍) 1625071466.0
Trump has yet to issue a statement regarding the list, but we can imagine he'd say it was somehow rigged.