Wednesday, February 29, 2012



Here it is, the top of the bottom. The Siena Research Institute has been polling presidential scholars since 1982. Much is made of those who ranks highest (it's always the usual suspects -- Lincoln, Washington and FDR -- in the top slots), but who brings up the rear?

In 2010, these 13 men ranked the lowest in everything from "intelligence" to "luck."

30) Rutherford B. Hayes
31) Jimmy Carter
32) Zachary Taylor
33) Benjamin Harrison
34) William Henry Harrison
35) Herbert Hoover
36) John Tyler
37) Millard Filmore
38) George W. Bush
39) Franklin Pierce
40) Warren G. Harding
41) James Buchanan
42) Andrew Johnson (pictured)

I admit I know very little about 11 of these 13. I lived through the Carter and GW Bush years but could probably learn more about the inner workings of their Administrations. But I wonder if it matters? Is history always important? Is there as much to learn from failure as success?

For more information about the Thursday Thirteen,
or to play yourself, click here.


  1. I would argue that we can learn more from failure than success, if we take the time to bother. If we look back asking what went wrong, we might be able to avoid repeating the mistakes. Not that we do.

  2. The more Carter ages, the worse he gets. Billy should have been a warning to us.

    Have a great Thursday!

  3. Thanks for sharing. I am a little curious about some of those names and how they ended up on the list, though.

    Happy TT!

  4. I think we can learn as much from success as from failure. My post

  5. I think history always has something to teach us. However, we do not listen to those lessons, generally speaking. That's why we keep doing the same dumb things.

  6. I wonder how many were one term presidents and if they are in order of rating, probably not cause I think Bush would be up on the top of the list rather than Carter.

  7. I'm surprised to find Andrew Jackson missing from that list. Then again, I don't know much about many of those presidents either.