The current President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, has had a very troubled start to his Presidency. Not only did he inherit a mess in the economy, but he has had multiple mis-steps in his selection of his cabinet and advisors. While the tax problems with Daschle and others have plagued the first few nominations, now there is even some concern about his most important advisor, his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. There has also been some criticism for his first international discussions, the first phone call he made to a foreign power was to President Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority.
As I write this, George W. Bush is only a few days away from the end of his 8 year Presidency. Earlier, I had graded Mr. Bush on a variety of major factors but I felt that I left off a huge number of things that he and his administration did or did not do. This list is the result of trying to be more inclusive. Many items on this list are actions by the Mr. Bush and his administration and some of them are inactions.
For the last 4 posts we have been exploring the claim that George W. Bush is the worst President of the United States ever. I am tired of this conversation now. I may add more topics to grade George W. Bush but I think this is a good list for now. So, how did he do? Lets give the short report card. See the earlier posts if you want to understand the reason behind each grade.
9/11 – A – 4.0
Anthrax – A – 4.0
Afghanistan invasion – A – 4.0
Afghanistan occupation – D – 1.0
Al Qaida – C – 2.0
Preventing terrorism – C – 2.0
We are wimps – A – 4.0
Libya – A – 4.0
Africa – B – 3.0
Economy – C – 2.0
Corporate governance – B – 3.0
Iraq solution – C – 2.0
Iraq invasion – A – 4.0
Iraq occupation – D – 1.0
Israel – B – 3.0
Palestine – D – 1.0
Iran – not sure – no GPA
North Korea – C – 2.0
World opinion – no grade matters – no GPA
For the last three posts we have been exploring the claim that George W. Bush is the worst President of the United States ever. Some say that he is the worst, some say he is in the middle of the pack but just about everyone agrees he is not the best ever. This post continues the job of grading W on the various issues that he faced in his two terms of office. See the previous posts to get the background for where we are now.
Iraq occupation – D – same as Afghanistan. A lot of good but the job is not done so W can’t get better grade until the job is done. He can’t get better than a C ever since he messed up so bad by putting Bremer in place – Bremer’s decisions really messed up the nation for several years. I think that history will eventually say that the US did better in Iraq than just about any other takeover of a foreign nation (Ukraine, Yugoslavia, Georgia, Poland, etc) although that is a terrible standard to compare us to.
It is probably too early to truly grade W and rank him among his peers. Time will tell if his policies were somewhat effective or total garbage. If you are going to grade a President, you need to take a more inclusive look and not just talk about his various failings. Also the “what if” discussion in that grading is incredibly important such as, “What if President Bush had not gone after Saddam Hussein – what would the world be like?”
It is also difficult to grade individual events because they are so intertwined (Libya, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Al Qaida, Palestine, Syria are all different variations of the same problem). That said – here are my thoughts on the 19 things that GW did (or didn’t do):
The web is filled with pronouncements that George W. Bush is the worst President of the United States ever (or not). I thought I would spend a few moments on the subject. This is a multi-part post so come back later to read more on this subject. Better yet, subscribe to the feed and you can get it delivered to your email or feed reader.
First, lets look at what the historians say about W or at least how they grade other Presidents. Wikipedia has a pretty good write up on the subject so let’s start there. As with all of the recent Presidents there is a lack of the number of surveys and rankings. We can see from the couple that are there that the Wall Street Journal ranked him 18th out of 42 and Siena put him at 23. That is squarely in the middle of the pack and nowhere near the worst. The worst Presidents tend to Harding, Grant, Andrew Johnson, Nixon and Buchanan. Depending on your political bent, you could throw Carter or Coolidge into this mix for the worst. W doesn’t appear to be in this company.