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Which US Presidents Do You Wish Were In Charge Right Now?

April 9, 2020 454.9k votes 33.9k voters 133.4k views44 items

List RulesVote up the commanders in chief you think could provide the most competent and, yes, commanding leadership during a global pandemic.

The presidency involves plenty of responsibilities both practical and symbolic. That means anyone elected to this august office ends up praised for things they didn't actually do and condemned for things that aren't actually their responsibility. By all accounts, that's part of the job. Still, the sometimes-fickle, sometimes-accurate sentiments of the American public mean that popular presidents could wield Mjolnir like a superhero while unpopular presidents are subject to endless scrutiny and debate.

In the midst of a pandemic that has disrupted life around the world, it's worth asking just which former (or current) presidents the populace wishes could handle the crisis. If you could wave a magic wand, would you want someone to provide moral and spiritual comfort even if they come from a time before germ theory? Or would you hope for someone with the ability to mobilize a coherent and competent international effort in the tradition of a 20th or 21st century wartime president?

  • 1
    12,098
    4,348

    Theodore Roosevelt

    Dec. at 61 (1858-1919)

    BirthplaceNew York City, Manhattan, USA, New York

    BirthplaceNew York City, Manhattan, USA, New York

    Presidency26

    Presidency26

    V.P.Charles W. Fairbanks

    V.P.Charles W. Fairbanks

  • 2
    13,497
    4,863

    Abraham Lincoln

    Dec. at 56 (1809-1865)

    BirthplaceHodgenville, Kentucky, United States of America

    BirthplaceHodgenville, Kentucky, United States of America

    Presidency16

    Presidency16

    V.P.Andrew Johnson, Hannibal Hamlin

    V.P.Andrew Johnson, Hannibal Hamlin

  • 3
    13,945
    5,427

    John F. Kennedy

    Dec. at 46 (1917-1963)

    BirthplaceUSA, Massachussetts, Brookline

    BirthplaceUSA, Massachussetts, Brookline

    Presidency35

    Presidency35

    V.P.Lyndon B. Johnson

    V.P.Lyndon B. Johnson

  • 4
    14,220
    5,626

    Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Dec. at 63 (1882-1945)

    BirthplaceNew York City, Hyde Park, New York, USA

    BirthplaceNew York City, Hyde Park, New York, USA

    Presidency32

    Presidency32

    V.P.John Nance Garner, Henry A. Wallace, Harry S. Truman

    V.P.John Nance Garner, Henry A. Wallace, Harry S. Truman

  • 5
    9,475
    5,050

    George Washington

    Dec. at 67 (1732-1799)

    BirthplaceVirginia, United States of America

    BirthplaceVirginia, United States of America

    Presidency1

    Presidency1

    V.P.John Adams

    V.P.John Adams

  • 6
    7,909
    4,617

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Dec. at 79 (1890-1969)

    BirthplaceDenison, Texas, United States of America

    BirthplaceDenison, Texas, United States of America

    Presidency34

    Presidency34

    V.P.Richard Nixon

    V.P.Richard Nixon

  • 7
    11,897
    7,410

    Ronald Reagan

    Dec. at 93 (1911-2004)

    BirthplaceWhiteside County, Illinois, United States of America, United States, with Territories

    BirthplaceWhiteside County, Illinois, United States of America, United States, with Territories

    Presidency40

    Presidency40

    V.P.George H. W. Bush

    V.P.George H. W. Bush

  • 8
    19,396
    12,775

    BirthplaceHonolulu, Hawaii, USA

    BirthplaceHonolulu, Hawaii, USA

    Presidency44

    Presidency44

    V.P.Joe Biden

    V.P.Joe Biden

  • 9
    6,226
    5,287

    Thomas Jefferson

    Dec. at 83 (1743-1826)

    BirthplaceShadwell, Virginia, United States of America

    BirthplaceShadwell, Virginia, United States of America

    Presidency3

    Presidency3

    V.P.Aaron Burr, George Clinton

    V.P.Aaron Burr, George Clinton

  • 10
    4,839
    6,182

    Harry Truman

    Dec. at 88 (1884-1972)

    BirthplaceLamar, Missouri, United States of America

    BirthplaceLamar, Missouri, United States of America

    Presidency33

    Presidency33

    V.P.Alben W. Barkley

    V.P.Alben W. Barkley

  • 11
    4,191
    6,221

    Ulysses S. Grant

    Dec. at 63 (1822-1885)

    BirthplacePoint Pleasant, Ohio, United States of America

    BirthplacePoint Pleasant, Ohio, United States of America

    Presidency18

    Presidency18

    V.P.Schuyler Colfax, Henry Wilson

    V.P.Schuyler Colfax, Henry Wilson

  • 12
    5,801
    8,757

    BirthplacePlains, Georgia, United States of America

    BirthplacePlains, Georgia, United States of America

    Presidency39

    Presidency39

    V.P.Walter Mondale

    V.P.Walter Mondale

  • 13
    6,321
    10,540

    BirthplaceHope, Arkansas, USA

    BirthplaceHope, Arkansas, USA

    Presidency42

    Presidency42

    V.P.Al Gore

    V.P.Al Gore

  • 14
    3,374
    5,832

    John Adams

    Dec. at 91 (1735-1826)

    BirthplaceBraintree, Massachusetts, United States of America

    BirthplaceBraintree, Massachusetts, United States of America

    Presidency2

    Presidency2

    V.P.Thomas Jefferson

    V.P.Thomas Jefferson

  • 15
    4,620
    8,371

    BirthplaceMilton, Massachusetts, United States of America

    BirthplaceMilton, Massachusetts, United States of America

    Presidency41

    Presidency41

    V.P.Dan Quayle

    V.P.Dan Quayle

  • 16
    4,966
    9,341

    BirthplaceNew Haven, Connecticut, United States of America

    BirthplaceNew Haven, Connecticut, United States of America

    Presidency43

    Presidency43

    V.P.Dick Cheney

    V.P.Dick Cheney

  • 17
    9,356
    18,427
  • 18
    2,679
    5,466

    James Madison

    Dec. at 85 (1751-1836)

    BirthplacePort Conway, Virginia, United States of America

    BirthplacePort Conway, Virginia, United States of America

    Presidency4

    Presidency4

    V.P.Elbridge Gerry, George Clinton

    V.P.Elbridge Gerry, George Clinton

  • 19
    2,796
    6,830

    Andrew Jackson

    Dec. at 78 (1767-1845)

    BirthplaceWaxhaws

    BirthplaceWaxhaws

    Presidency7

    Presidency7

    V.P.Martin Van Buren, John C. Calhoun

    V.P.Martin Van Buren, John C. Calhoun

  • 20
    2,158
    5,367

    John Quincy Adams

    Dec. at 81 (1767-1848)

    BirthplaceBraintree, Massachusetts, United States of America

    BirthplaceBraintree, Massachusetts, United States of America

    Presidency6

    Presidency6

    V.P.John C. Calhoun

    V.P.John C. Calhoun

  • 21
    1,950
    4,885

    James Monroe

    Dec. at 73 (1758-1831)

    BirthplaceMonroe Hall, Virginia, United States of America

    BirthplaceMonroe Hall, Virginia, United States of America

    Presidency5

    Presidency5

    V.P.Daniel D. Tompkins

    V.P.Daniel D. Tompkins

  • 22
    2,813
    7,085

    Lyndon Johnson

    Dec. at 65 (1908-1973)

    BirthplaceStonewall, Texas, United States of America

    BirthplaceStonewall, Texas, United States of America

    Presidency36

    Presidency36

    V.P.Hubert Humphrey

    V.P.Hubert Humphrey

  • 23
    2,356
    5,980

    Gerald Ford

    Dec. at 93 (1913-2006)

    BirthplaceOmaha, Nebraska, USA

    BirthplaceOmaha, Nebraska, USA

    Presidency38

    Presidency38

    V.P.Nelson Rockefeller

    V.P.Nelson Rockefeller

  • 24
    2,267
    6,011

    Woodrow Wilson

    Dec. at 68 (1856-1924)

    BirthplaceVirginia, United States of America

    BirthplaceVirginia, United States of America

    Presidency28

    Presidency28

    V.P.Thomas R. Marshall

    V.P.Thomas R. Marshall

  • 25
    1,877
    5,013

    Calvin Coolidge

    Dec. at 61 (1872-1933)

    BirthplacePlymouth Notch, Vermont, Vermont, United States of America

    BirthplacePlymouth Notch, Vermont, Vermont, United States of America

    Presidency30

    Presidency30

    V.P.Charles G. Dawes

    V.P.Charles G. Dawes