Friday, December 16, 2005

Ranking the Presidents

Reuters reports the results of a poll asking respondents to rank the last 10 presidents on several measures:

President George W. Bush ranks as the least popular and most bellicose of the last ten U.S. presidents, according to a new survey.

Only nine percent of the 662 people polled picked Bush as their favorite among the last 10 presidents. John F. Kennedy topped that part of the survey, with 26 percent, closely followed by Bill Clinton (25 percent) and Ronald Reagan (23 percent).

Bush was also viewed as the most warlike president (43 percent), the worst for the economy (42 percent) and the least effective (33 percent). But he was rated most highly in response to a question on who would do the right thing even if it were unpopular.

That last measure is worded oddly. Obviously he would consider it the right thing, but objectively, the people who opposed it would not. That's why it would be unpopular, presumably. There's no way authorizing the violation of federal law to enable the government to eavesdrop on Americans could be considered the right thing to do, unless you think the president is above the law. I guess if you are someone who thinks your country is above the law, you might think the president of your country is above the law, too.

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