by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Cristiano Lima of Politico reports on historians’ assessment of our 44th president.
Historians have ranked Barack Obama the 12th best president of all time, the highest rated since President Ronald Reagan, in a new C-SPAN survey released Friday.
Less than a month after exiting the White House, Obama received high marks from presidential historians for his pursuit of “equal justice for all” and for his commanding “moral authority,” ranking third and seventh among all former presidents in each respective category. The 44th president also cracked a top 10 ranking for his “economic management” and public persuasion.
The former president’s tenure earned its lowest marks for the relationship between the presidency and Congress, with bitter partisanship often stagnating the effectiveness between the two and Obama seeing his Democratic majority slip in both the House of Representatives and the Senate during his eight years in office.
Historians, however, remained mixed on whether Obama’s standing so soon after leaving office was higher or lower than expected.
“Although 12th is a respectable overall ranking, one would have thought that former President Obama’s favorable rating when he left office would have translated into a higher ranking in this presidential survey,” said Edna Greene Medford, a Howard University professor and member of C-SPAN’s historical advisory board.
Others, though, felt the former president’s performance fresh out of office was remarkable.
“That Obama came in at number 12 his first time out is quite impressive,” Douglas Brinkley, a Rice University professor and C-SPAN adviser, said in a press release.
No. 12? The evidence suggests otherwise.