George HW Bush: 15th best US President

Discussion in 'History & Past Politicians' started by Phil, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. Phil

    Phil Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Earlier this year I revised my ranking of Presidents worst to best (omitting those with less than 2 years of service and counting Grover Cleveland only once).
    Here is the portion relevant to HW:
    Now comes the big battle: W versus HW.
    I never officially ranked HW, so I have to back up and make sure he's ahead of the rest of those losers.
    HW won the Gulf War very fast and exactly as planned. Some wish he went further but he did exactly what the directive was and got Congress to approve. He raised taxes. Many objected but it must have worked because the economy quickly recovered from a little bump arranged by Alan Greenspan. He got 2 men on the Supreme Court for 46 years and counting. Perhaps we object to David Souter ending up on the liberal side, but no one challenged the reasoning of his decisions. We might wish Clarence Thomas had matured but no one can challenge his conservative voting record. Except for losing the 1992 election, thanks mostly to a lifelong personal rival, HW did everything he wanted to do. His cabinet was great too with no scandal.
    That puts him ahead of Clinton.
    Tyler loses, not even getting his second Supreme Court nominee through. JQA loses, doing nothing. Fillmore loses, doing almost nothing.
    HW beats Nixon because of the scandal and slow removal from Vietnam.
    HW beats Kennedy because he had no flaw comparable to the Bay of Pigs.
    HW beats Arthur because he battled a hostile Congress. Arthur did not.
    HW beats John Adams because he had no international bungling and a better cabinet.
    HW beats Benjamin Harrison because his international activities had the support of the world. That's degree of difficulty.
    Taft got 62 years from 5 Supreme Court picks. That's close. Both have a clean record in foreign relations. Both had prosperity. Both lost the next election on personality alone. Degree of difficulty puts HW ahead.
    So now we have HW versus W. Two wars beats one, but less successful and with limited cooperation. W had a bad economy at the end so HW has an advantage. Both had great staff, especially the same people. HW got the tax increase. W got the rebates. It's very close but that economic slide makes the father the winner.
    HW then beats Coolidge because that war was aggressive and 2 Supreme Court picks beats one.
    HW beats Hayes on degree of difficulty.
    HW versus Truman comes next. Truman put 4 men on the court and had no regrets. Truman assembled a strong cabinet, even with HW. HW got the victory in his war but Truman had harder problems and won back Congress. That puts Truman and therefore Ike, ahead of HW.
    HW is a lot like McKinley, but the US gained nothing from that war. McKinley added territory.
    Against Madison HW has victory on his side versus a draw. Both had great cabinets and a solid economy. Madison had 2 terms so Madison wins.
    That leaves one battle I haven't mentioned. HW versus Reagan. If Reagan wins of course there's no need to compare Reagan with anyone behind HW. This also means he's moved up a long way from 1983.
    The book is finally being closed on Reagan's legacy. He got 85 years out of 3 Supreme Court justices. No President with only 3 got more. Though not every vote went as he hoped, there were no betrayals. Reagan's tax cut spurred a big boom that really lasted 25 years, hard to duplicate. His foreign policy started the fall of Communism and victory in the Cold War. The second term leaves no doubt he comes in ahead of HW.
    Can Reagan beat anyone else?
    Madison had a great economy, no scandals, a draw in the War of 1812, 2 landslides, no battles with a hostile Congress, got his 2 Supreme Court picks through. Reagan blew it with Iran-Contra and the unfortunate Bork situation.
    McKinley won his war, had a great economy, solid staff, 2 easy victories, no scandals, one solid Supreme Court pick, cooperative Congress. Reagan loses.
    Next comes Truman. Reagan beat the economic battle. So did Truman. Reagan struggled with Congress. So did Truman. Reagan wins because Truman ended with the Korean War.
    Ike had a solid economy, ended the Korean War, got 5 Supreme Court picks through a hostile Congress, had no scandals. Ike wins.
    With Jackson untouchable in ninth place, Madison and McKinley behind him, then Ike, Reagan stands in 13th place between Ike and Truman, 2 men he admired and supported. He'd be glad to know that.
    Tell HW he's 15th according to the most impartial scholar alive. Tell W he's 18th with a chance to rise.

Share This Page