Who was the worst American president? Not Donald Trump, say historians


Pennsylvania’s first president, James Buchanan, wasn’t so good at his job, historians say. And the most recent former president, Donald Trump, wasn’t quite the worst we’ve ever had.

As has been done with every presidential change since 2000, C-SPAN has called on historians to classify America’s leaders, leaving out the current president. This year, he said, 142 presidential historians and academics attended.

The Top 4 on the list has never changed:

  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. George washington
  3. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  4. Theodore Roosevelt

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama complete this year’s Top 10.

President James Buchananbillion

Number 44, at the bottom of the list, is Buchanan, from Lancaster. His legacy of inaction leading to civil war often places him at the bottom of the presidential rankings for good jobs.

(Current President Joe Biden, from Scranton, is Keystone State’s second attempt to supply the nation’s leader.)

Trump is ranked 41st, which Business Insider says is the lowest ranking of any president who has served in the past 150 years. The only presidents lower ranked than Trump were, in order, Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson and Buchanan.

The Washington Post notes: Trump “ranked lower than William Henry Harrison, who was president for only 31 days, and John Tyler, the only former president buried in a coffin draped with the Confederate flag.”

Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush

FILE – In this January 16, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama, center, walks out of the White House Oval Office with former Presidents Bill Clinton, left, and George W. Bush, right. (AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)PA

Trump has been impeached by the House twice as president and acquitted by the Senate twice. Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton (19th on C-SPAN’s list this year) were indicted once and were also acquitted.


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Kevin E. Boling

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