C-Span Poll Ranks Obama as 12th Best President

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After only a month out of office, Obama quickly rose high in presidential rankings.

C-Span has released results from their Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership, a survey that ranks presidents. 91 historians ranked all 43 former presidents across 10 categories, ranking Obama in 12th for best U.S. president overall. 

Related: LGBT Activists View Obama as Staunch Champion of Their Cause

Obama ranked high in multiple categories, such as third on “Pursued Equal Justice for All,” seventh on “Moral Authority” and 12th on “Vision/Setting an Agenda.” 

He was ranked in the top 20 in eight of the 10 categories. He also made top ten in four categories.

"Although 12th is a respectable overall ranking, one would have thought that former President Obama’s favorable rating when he left office would have translated into a higher ranking in this presidential survey,” said Edna Greene Medford, a part of the C-Span advisory team in a press release. “I am especially surprised that he was ranked at 7th in moral authority (despite heading a scandal-free administration); 19th in administrative skills; and 8th in economic management (despite having helped to save the auto industry and significantly reducing unemployment). But, of course, historians prefer to view the past from a distance, and only time will reveal his legacy."

Obama ranks high in overall rank alongside Abraham Lincoln — first place for best overall president for the third time — as well as George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt.

Obama’s lowest rankings were “Relations with Congress” at 39th and “International Relations” at 24th.

Full rankings are available at C-Span.org/PresidentSurvey2017.


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