Americans Say Reagan Is the Greatest U.S. President (Gallup)
Embarrassed Republicans Admit They've Been Thinking Of Eisenhower Whole Time They've Been Praising Reagan (The Onion)
Of course, the overall point is that it is a stressful and, at times, pitiless job being president. As Beschloss’ title suggests, it takes courage. Currently, 44 men have held the distinction; a plethora of others have declined even running for the position. As our second president, John Adams, said, “No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it.” His own son, John Quincy Adams, preferred a return to Congress than to seek the presidency again – a sentiment Lyndon Johnson also hailed when he became president.
Who is the greatest president? I have my favorites, and I am glad to see that all five make Gallup's poll. In no particular order:
1. George Washington
2. Abraham Lincoln
3. Theodore Roosevelt
4. Dwight D. Eisenhower
5. George W. Bush
Why these five? All leaders who withstood pressures from the opposition concerning their policies, and all maligned during their presidencies. Yet, three (Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt) overlook the Dakotas from atop Mount Rushmore in tribute of their greatness. Two (Eisenhower, Bush) were considered aloof and affable during their presidencies, yet one (Eisenhower) has since been vindicated by history as a not-so-aloof effective leader during multiple crises. Undoubtedly, it will not be long before the tide of history turns for the other, whose due credit for influencing current events in formerly oppressed regions has been eschewed by mainstream media and revisionists solely in favor of the current administration. The fact that love ‘em-or-hate ‘em George W. Bush comes in at #10 on Gallup's poll – out of 44, and higher than his more admired, and latest Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, dad George H.W. Bush – seems at least an indicator.
©2011 Steve Sagarra