Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Top 10 US Presidents (off the top of my head)

This list is completely subjective. From the knowledge I have about the presidents, here is my list of the 10 ten chief executives of the United States of America. I am putting this list together focusing on the influence that the president has had on the role as chief executive, on their ability to lead through crisis, and shelf value for other presidents to compare themselves to.

10 Abraham Lincoln - While he was a good president, too many people give him way too much credit. The Civil War was started because of his actions against South Carolina. His act that led towards freeing slaves, was politically driven, not ethically driven. He had the worst judgment when it came to picking advisers, as his cabinet redefined the term "power struggle." While a good president, I cannot rank him any higher than 10.

09 Woodrow Wilson - Wilson was responsible for the US's first real attempt at International relations at a large scale. Even if his idea, the League of Nations, fell flat on it back, it still nothing short of a brilliant attempt at civil discourse among the nations.

08 Gerald Ford - He is only getting on this list because he is from Michigan. Ironically, the most athletic president ever, and still he was known as the klutziest. Also, the only president to not have been elected by a national election. Also, did I mention he's from Grand Rapids?!?!!

07 Ronald Reagan - Just like FDR, who was prez 50 years prior, Reagan had an ability to move people. His leadership transformed a depressed, hopeless nation into a super-power that was full of life.

06 John Adams - As much as Washington shaped the role of President, Adams, first as VP and then as the 2nd President, was very influential in his role of developing the office of President of the United States into what it is today.

05 John F Kennedy - The issue here is not production, but the role that this man has played in shaping the White House. Kennedy's leadership was brilliant as he dealt with the Cuban Missile Crisis. He turned the Presidential office into a place for stars. Obama's role was "rock star" president, is very similar to that of Kennedy.

04 Franklin Roosevelt - His 13-year term was the longest of any president (1932-1945). His strong leadership helped the US get through the Great Depression AND World War II. Agree with his economic ideas, he was nothing less than a strong charismatic leader.

03 George Washington - His White House was the first and was on that set many patterns for what the president should act like. If there is no Washington, there is no United States. So he's a pretty big deal.

02 Andrew Jackson - Morally this man made Bill Clinton look like a choir boy; He killed people, was a complete racist, and had a horrible temper. He actually killed the national bank, simply out of spite. Even with these faults, without Jackson, the presidency would not be the position that it is now. Jackson turned the presidency into a policy making position. It is because of him that we see the president as the voice of the people; or his election dictates the policy of the US government. Thanks Old Hickory!

01 Teddy Roosevelt - Teddy was a conservationist; he is the one to establish National Parks. His enthusiasm was noted around the world as he actually had a pretty strict workout routine. It was incredible. To top this off, he actually was the first president to fight greed and corruption; as his administration came up with the anti-trust legislation that eliminated monopolies. Truly a man who was a century before his time.