#5 on the original list Franklin D. Roosevelt 1882 Had to act swiftly and decisively to pull the country from off its knees after years of economic depression and then equally firmly to prosecute the Second World War successfully.
#2 on the original list Abraham Lincoln 1809 Truly great in many ways, but there are times when I wonder what would have actually happened if he had just allowed secession to occur. Surely the Confederacy would have had to move beyond slavery
#11 on the original list John Adams 1735 Much maligned being sandwiched, as he was, between Washington and Jefferson, but looking at others who followed he was a far better Chief Executive than people gave him credit for at the time.
#12 on the original list Bill Clinton 1946 Don't let the sex scandals deflect from the fact that Clinton was no fool. The world would have been a safer place today had he still been in the White House on 9/11.
#7 on the original list John F. Kennedy 1917 Could have turned out to be among the very greatest Presidents, but we shall never know. His actual accomplishments were fairly limited, but it was a sense of hope and a new, vibrant beginning that
#15 on the original list George H. W. Bush 1924 Read my lips "No New Taxes!" (apart from the ones I didn't expect to have to announce). Otherwise a fairly competent President whose biggest mistake as far as the US Presidency is concerned
#18 on the original list Barack Obama 1961 Too early to tell. Not a disaster (although following Dubya he could have invaded Canada, burned down the White House and banned television and still be rated above him) but only time will tell
#23 on the original list Calvin Coolidge 1872 Oversaw a period of peace and prosperity, but doesn't rank near the top because he failed to foresee and therefore take steps to prevent the Great Depression which was to land almost as soon as he
#31 on the original list James A. Garfield 1831 A promising start, neutralising the corrupt power of Roscoe Conkling, which was cut short by an assassin's bullet. Although he served for just over six months the last two of those he spent
#28 on the original list Richard Nixon 1913 Tricky Dicky. And tricky to rank. Had some political ability, made impressive moves towards better relations with China and finally ended the Vietnam War, but will forever be remembered as someone who
#16 on the original list John Quincy Adams 1767 Something of a lame duck President due to the implacable opposition of Congress thwarting almost everything he wanted to do which left him with little to show as his legacy.
#36 on the original list Herbert Hoover 1874 The wrong place at the wrong time. He didn't cause the Great Depression, but it broke just after he came into office and dominated his entire term in which he seemed powerless to stop it.
#38 on the original list William Henry Harrison 1773 Only served for 31 days, much of which was spent dying of pneumonia so can't really be judged fairly, but at least that meant he didn't have time to be a total disaster!
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