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Old 02-19-2007, 01:11 PM   #1
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Greatest US President

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Just in time for President's Day, a new Gallup poll finds Abraham Lincoln now topping Ronald Reagan as the public's idea of the greatest U.S. president ever.

John F. Kennedy edges Bill Clinton for the #3 spot, with Franklin D. Roosevelt coming in at number five. George Washington can do no better than sixth.

Gallup notes that respondents tend to favor presidents of later vintage.

Reagan had bested traditional leader Lincoln in the previous poll, in 2005, in the aftermath of the former's death.

Eighteen percent of Americans today name Lincoln as the greatest U.S. president. He is closely followed by Reagan, with 16%, and John F. Kennedy, with 14%. Bill Clinton (13%) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (9%) round out the top five.

After Washington at #6 comes Truman at #7 and then a tie for #8 with Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Jefferson, Carter -- and George W. Bush, all at 2%. Bush had stood at 5% two years ago.

The poll was taken February 9-11.
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:29 PM   #2
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Why would Reagan be near the top? I suppose the whole Cold War/Berlin Wall thing helps, but really...Reagan? Kennedy (love the guy), I believe is ranked based on what his presidency could have been.
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:32 PM   #3
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Yeah, this is definitely skewed towards more recent presidencies. Both Reagan and Clinton are way too high, and JFK is up there based on his legacy more than his term as president.

Lincoln is deserving, though.
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:38 PM   #4
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WTF...What about Chester Arthur?
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:48 PM   #5
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It's a joke that the people put Washington at #6. Without him, the other guys may have never made it to office because there may not have been a country to lead. But if the they are ranking Clinton and Reagan before him, you really can't expect too much from the poll.
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:03 PM   #6
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:09 PM   #7
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Abe Lincoln was the most xtreme president ever. No one can compare to that badass.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:05 PM   #8
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Another amazing thing about Lincoln is that he had lower approval ratings than W and only won re-election because of some key victories in the months leading up to election. Even then, the "peace" candidate would have won if he wasn't a former general.

A majority of the Northerners were against the war and wanted peace terms with the South.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:30 PM   #9
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I don't think current public perception is the best meter to measure how "great" a president was.


I think Lincoln is a bit over rated.


And Aeon, not surprised if many Northerners wanted peace.

The soul of America was very sick then.

They may not have cared that much about slavery.

Looking at how long it took
to get any kind of Civil Rights proves that.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON
Another amazing thing about Lincoln is that he had lower approval ratings than W and only won re-election because of some key victories in the months leading up to election. Even then, the "peace" candidate would have won if he wasn't a former general.


can you cite these approval ratings? can we really compare across the centuries? did Lincoln remain below 50% for the entirety of his 2nd term? did Lincoln remain well below 40% for the majority of his 2nd term?
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:30 PM   #11
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I don't think they measured approval ratings back then like they do today.

But if there is some source that could tell us about the approval rate of Lincoln I would be very interested.
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:30 PM   #12
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My favorite president has always been FDR. The New Deal was the best thing to ever happen to this country. Reagan is definitely overrated.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:17 PM   #13
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Originally posted by verte76
My favorite president has always been FDR. The New Deal was the best thing to ever happen to this country.


Agree, 100%. He was an absolute gun...no one comes close. New Deal was the most essential piece of legislation at the second most critical of times. One wonders how long he could have gone on...

Jefferson was pretty cool, as was Clinton.

JFK seems a bit overrated. RFK would have been better.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:19 PM   #14
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What good did Reagan do anyway. He was just some crap actor...
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON
Another amazing thing about Lincoln is that he had lower approval ratings than W and only won re-election because of some key victories in the months leading up to election. Even then, the "peace" candidate would have won if he wasn't a former general.
Lincoln was re-elected primarily because of the split vote amongst the Democratic party - many were part of the "Peace" platform, but when a former general of the war is your candidate, you're going to get mixed results.
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