Historians Rank the Presidents: Ohio’s McKinley 16th

Ohio has had many Presidents: Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Harrison, Taft, Harding, and McKinley (we’ve got the statue at the Statehouse.)

Looking into the history of Ohio’s Presidents you’ll find nearly every aspect of the office from the beloved Garfield assassinated only six months into his first term to the corruption, malfeasance and scandal of Harding’s presidency.

McKinley was, “our first 20th-century president in more ways than just what it said on the calendar. He conducted a vigorous and opportunistic foreign policy that saw Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines and Hawaii added to the “possessions” of a country that claimed to want no overseas empire. That charge of imperialism would resonate in some quarters, and McKinley was gunned down by an anarchist during his second term, making him the third American president to be assassinated.” Cleveland.com wrote about the President.

Well in a survey by C-SPAN that saw 91 Presidential Historians rank the last 44 presidents, McKinley came in a respectable 16th place.

C-SPAN’s academic advisors devised a survey in which participants used a one (“not effective”) to ten (“very effective”) scale to rate each president on ten qualities of presidential leadership: “Public Persuasion,” “Crisis Leadership,” “Economic Management,” “Moral Authority,” “International Relations,” “Administrative Skills,” “Relations with Congress,” “Vision/Setting An Agenda,” “Pursued Equal Justice for All,” and “Performance Within the Context of His Times.”

Other notable rankings: Barack Obama was ranked 12th — the highest first time ranking for any ex-President ever. George H.W. Bush moved up #20 while his son sits at a below average of #33.

“That Obama came in at number 12 his first time out is quite impressive,” Dr. Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Rice University, said in the news release.

The full list here:

Here are the full rankings:

1. Abraham Lincoln
2. George Washington
3. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
4. Teddy Roosevelt
5. Dwight Eisenhower
6. Harry Truman
7. Thomas Jefferson
8. John F. Kennedy
9. Ronald Reagan
10. Lyndon Johnson
11. Woodrow Wilson
12. Barack Obama
13. James Monroe
14. James Polk
15. Bill Clinton
16. William McKinley
17. James Madison
18. Andrew Jackson
19. John Adams
20. George H.W. Bush
21. John Q. Adams
22. Ulysses Grant
23. Grover Cleveland
24. William Taft
25. Gerald Ford
26. Jimmy Carter
27. Calvin Coolidge
28. Richard Nixon
29. James Garfield
30. Benjamin Harrison
31. Zachary Taylor
32. Rutherford Hayes
33. George W. Bush
34. Martin Van Buren
35. Chester Arthur
36. Herbert Hoover
37. Millard Fillmore
38. William Harrison
39. John Tyler
40. Warren Harding
41. Franklin Pierce
42. Andrew Johnson
43. James Buchanan



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