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Old Jan 20, 2013, 10:40 PM   #1
Beeplance
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In your opinion, which US president do you think was the best and why?

I didn't read much about past US presidents, their history and contributions, so I'm hoping to gain some insight

Which US president(s) do you think was the best, and why? Doesn't matter if you rank them on different criteria, just want to see what you guys, especially Americans, think of the different US presidents... ^^

From what I've heard, Lincoln and Roosevelt are among the best?
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 10:54 PM   #2
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Bill Clinton. Times were good, economy was fantastic. No wars under Bill.
He knew what it took to bring this country together. Its funny because although he raised taxes people made alot of money in his 8 years.

Wasent around for Lincoln.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 11:06 PM   #3
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No wars under Bill.


Perhaps not on the scale of many other wars before or since, but we were involved in Bosnia and Kosovo during that time, as well as Somalia (Black Hawk Down ring a bell?).

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._United_States

B
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 11:25 PM   #4
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Bill Clinton. Times were good, economy was fantastic. No wars under Bill.
He knew what it took to bring this country together. Its funny because although he raised taxes people made alot of money in his 8 years.

Wasent around for Lincoln.
Clinton is automatically disqualified, in my opinion, due to the fact that a lot of his policies helped facilitate the housing collapse in 2008. He was the one that pushed for wider home ownership, pressuring Fannie and Freddie for mortgages to folks who previously would not have been credit worthy for a loan. He wanted to get home ownership rates up to around 70% and in order to get there it led to conditions where loans were being issued to people who had no business in buying a home and ultimately brought about all of the sub-prime loans. Seeing as how HUD was in charge of oversight for Fannie and Freddie...it wasn't hard to make all of this happen. He also signed off on laws that deregulated Wall Street in ways that exposed the banking industry to all of the mortgage bundling that was going on (Congress helped screw the pooch there too, but this is about Presidents so I'm only talking about Clinton's portion of the blame).

Clinton kickstarted the snowball that brought about the housing bubble and for that any shine that is on his presidency gets smudged away by the complete disaster that came to a head in 2008. And make no mistake, Bush deserves his fair share of the blame for it too for not turning a lot of that stuff around.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 11:27 PM   #5
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Bill Clinton. Times were good, economy was fantastic.
Much as I want to like Bill Clinton, he was basically little more than Reagan-lite (that is not a good thing). While the economy looked pretty good while he was president, it was already forming the negative trends we have come to be familiar with. Outsourcing and offshoring was starting to accelerate, the strength of the economy had begun to falter significantly at the end of his term, meaning its structural soundness was not as good as the numbers showed, and he happily signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act from which one can draw a straight line to the financial collapse of '07-'08.

My personal favorite American president has to be Theodore Roosevelt, who had the courage to fight against big business. I would like to say Josiah Bartlett, except, he is fictional.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 11:31 PM   #6
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Clinton IMO. Why? Well, stable economy. Sure he was responsible for the initial 2008 mess, but I'm betting he would have definitely seem it coming and turned back on some policies.

However, during his era we saw the best job growth and actually people made money (or saved it).

Sure we had the whole Kosovo and Bosnia incidents, but they were minor in cost compared to 2 major wars Bush put us thru and left us in horrible debt.

Another final thing is Clinton's IQ which is 60 points higher than his successor (which we all agree was stupider than, well, a jellyfish).
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 11:38 PM   #7
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I would say some of the top ones were Lincoln, FDR, and Eisenhower. I think for Clinton it's too early to say if he was in the top few or not, we're still seeing some of the results of things that he did, not all of them good.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:09 AM   #8
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Wow, didn't know Clinton had such a good reputation. Can anyone comment on Kennedy? I know nothing about him besides his assasination...
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:33 AM   #9
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Regan

Times were good.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 01:52 AM   #10
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Wow, didn't know Clinton had such a good reputation. Can anyone comment on Kennedy? I know nothing about him besides his assasination...
Kennedy is famous for pushing the space program to land on the moon by the end of the decade it was thought to be a race with the Soviets, though it is not clear that they were really trying for that. In another confrontation with the USSR, he stood off their attempt to base nuclear (?) missiles on Cuba, right next to Florida. He also was instrumental in founding the Peace Corps.

It is also pretty clear that Kennedy had not a few liaisons with women to whom he was not married, including, it is believed, Marilyn Monroe.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 02:03 AM   #11
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I'm going to go with FDR, easy. He laid the groundwork for basically our entire social safety net, banning child labor, instituting the first minimum wage, the 40-Hour Work Week. He did more for the average citizen of this country than many of our presidents combined, not to mention leading us during our toughest hour both in foreign and domestic terms.

How can you beat him?
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 02:27 AM   #12
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Seen from this side of the water I would rate:

1. FDR A man who had a vision for a whole new better world for everbody.
2. Kennedy New hope as a younger generation took over in the 1960s
3. Clinton He wasn't Reagen that was for me enough
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:26 AM   #13
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Truman, finished what FDR started.
Wilson, gave the final push that ended the blood bath of WWI


Do not like
Kennedy, Vietnam
Clinton, NAFTA
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:34 AM   #14
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Modern times Clinton....But FDR would have to rank at the top, even though I wasn't even born. The way he handled the depression knocks bells off any other President we have had since.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 06:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by balamw View Post


Perhaps not on the scale of many other wars before or since, but we were involved in Bosnia and Kosovo during that time, as well as Somalia (Black Hawk Down ring a bell?).

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._United_States

B
a conflict and a war are two different things.

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Originally Posted by ugahairydawgs View Post
Clinton is automatically disqualified, in my opinion .
I dont know what you were doing during the Clinton Admin,
But made a ****ton of money and got a very lucrative business of the ground thanks to Bill. That money is now putting my daughter thru college.
Thank you Mr President.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 07:06 AM   #16
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I think the wittiest US president was 'Silent Cal' Coolidge, but otherwise he was a poor president. Nixon would have gone down in history as a great president (getting out of Vietnam; opening gestures toward PRC) had he not been paranoid to the point breaking the law (Watergate, Chile,etc.). JFK and Clinton had infidelity, Lincoln passed draconian laws the curtailed civil rights, FDR allowed the internment of Americans of Japanese descent during WWII, etc. My point is that presidents always have profound flaws and nearly always have noble aspects to them, as anybody public servant does.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 08:23 AM   #17
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Another final thing is Clinton's IQ which is 60 points higher than his successor (which we all agree was stupider than, well, a jellyfish).
How dare you insult jellyfish!
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:57 AM   #18
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Do not like
Kennedy, Vietnam
Clinton, NAFTA
Vietnam was Johnson. Kennedy did get involved with Vietnam, but it is unknown if he would have gone for military action like Johnson.

We haven't had a decent president since Eisenhower, IMHO. Kennedy like I said is an unknown on his legacy due to him being assassinated. Johnson has Vietnam, Nixon has Watergate. Ford? Meh, Carter? Meh. Reagan started us on this out of control spending with his 600 ship Navy( despite it meaning the return of the Iowa's which I loved), trying to outspend the USSR, etc. First Bush? Meh. As stated, we're feeling the effects of Clinton still. Bush Jr? HAHAHA! Obama? Meh.

As for the best president? The Roosevelt's and Eisenhower. Teddy fought back against big business, told foreign countries not to mess with us with his big stick, etc. FDR helped guide our country through the great depression and WWII. Yes the Japanese camps are a big black eye on his legacy though. Eisenhower built the highway system and tried to warn us about the MIC......
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 11:27 AM   #19
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Vietnam was Johnson. Kennedy did get involved with Vietnam, but it is unknown if he would have gone for military action like Johnson.

We haven't had a decent president since Eisenhower, IMHO. Kennedy like I said is an unknown on his legacy due to him being assassinated. Johnson has Vietnam, Nixon has Watergate. Ford? Meh, Carter? Meh. Reagan started us on this out of control spending with his 600 ship Navy( despite it meaning the return of the Iowa's which I loved), trying to outspend the USSR, etc. First Bush? Meh. As stated, we're feeling the effects of Clinton still. Bush Jr? HAHAHA! Obama? Meh.

As for the best president? The Roosevelt's and Eisenhower. Teddy fought back against big business, told foreign countries not to mess with us with his big stick, etc. FDR helped guide our country through the great depression and WWII. Yes the Japanese camps are a big black eye on his legacy though. Eisenhower built the highway system and tried to warn us about the MIC......
Meh he took us out of an advisory roll and put actual combat troops there..would he have stayed I dunno but the man did have cajones and did not like to be pushed around.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 11:48 AM   #20
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a conflict and a war are two different things.
In that case, we haven't had a "war" since 1945. Congress hasn't declared war since WWII.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 11:59 AM   #21
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I'm going to go with FDR, easy. He laid the groundwork for basically our entire social safety net, banning child labor, instituting the first minimum wage, the 40-Hour Work Week. He did more for the average citizen of this country than many of our presidents combined, not to mention leading us during our toughest hour both in foreign and domestic terms.

How can you beat him?
I'd go with FDR as one (not the only one) of the outstandingly good Presidents for the reasons you have mentioned.

For similar reasons, I'd rank Lyndon B. Johnson over John F. Kennedy. Sure, the latter was stylish, good-looking, helped create conditions which gave rise to a sense of optimism, but he didn't actually do very much as President. It was a triumph of appearance over substance. Vietnam notwithstanding, domestically (in terms of his legislative output which helped create the conditions for a fairer society) Johnson actually left the country a far better and far fairer place by the time his term of office ended.

Other Presidents I consider worthy of respect include Abraham Lincoln (who was my childhood hero) - and earlier, Thomas Jefferson (and perhaps, Andrew Hamilton).

A lot will be written about Lincoln in the coming weeks, not least because of the recently released movie; much of this will mention his flaws, his errors of judgement, and the attitudes towards race which he - in common with many others of his era - held.

The thing to remember about Lincoln was that he was President at a horrendous time, and held the whole thing together, if at times, barely just. The other thing to remember is that he grew into the job, (most Presidents end up being dwarfed by it) and grew into the role, and grew with the role, and, by the time he was tragically assassinated, he was magnificent and magisterial.

Actually, to my mind, Lincoln is a classic example of the tragedy of a play like Hamlet - the tragedy being, not so much that he was killed, but that he was killed when he was killed. For Lincoln had become astonishing by 1865. Indeed, he filled the role so amply that it was felt inconceivable that he could ever be adequately replaced and no-one felt equal to the task after his murder. His cabinet, who initially despised him, were awed by him. The contrast with 1860 is striking, for there is no comparison with the clever provincial who had bizarrely become President in 1861 (because the Democrats split) and who rapidly found himself utterly out of his depth as events spiralled out of control into Civil War. Read his second inaugural address - simply stunning - his vision, intelligence, integrity and political vision and ambition shine through.

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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:01 PM   #22
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Carter

Forward thinking regarding US reliance on fuel : which would have probably made us the world leaders in advanced energy today as well as going a long way to curb the worst of the climate change we're going to see.

Actually cared about international justice : Including but not limited to the Panama Canal Treaties, Camp David Accords Etc.

Legalized Home Brewing :

I believe he was hugely progressive regarding civil rights : You can make an argument that he wasn't but considering his origins the progressive strides he's made through his life are amazing.

Recent Move : http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95311&page=1

First President to Address Gay Rights : And he was on the right side of the issue.

The fact that he's generally disliked by most Americans makes me like the man more (because in my honest opinions I think 70+ percent of Americans have an understanding of politics and the world equivalent to bunk). He was a forward thinker, not insanely arrogant, and he knew our problems belonged to all of us and couldn't just be solved by the free market or the government.

Worth Watching:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95311&page=1
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:03 PM   #23
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Carter

Forward thinking regarding US reliance on fuel : which would have probably made us the world leaders in advanced energy today as well as going a long way to curb the worst of the climate change we're going to see.

Actually cared about international justice : Including but not limited to the Panama Canal Treaties, Camp David Accords Etc.

Legalized Home Brewing :

I believe he was hugely progressive regarding civil rights : You can make an argument that he wasn't but considering his origins the progressive strides he's made through his life are amazing.

Recent Move : http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95311&page=1

First President to Address Gay Rights : And he was on the right side of the issue.

The fact that he's generally disliked by most Americans makes me like the man more (because in my honest opinions I think 70+ percent of Americans have an understanding of politics and the world equivalent to bunk). He was a forward thinker, not insanely arrogant, and he knew our problems belonged to all of us and couldn't just be solved by the free market or the government.

Worth Watching:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95311&page=1
I have long had a soft spot for Jimmy Carter - and his post presidential career is equally impressive.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 01:14 PM   #24
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the 40-Hour Work Week.
The what?

I do agree though, the Roosevelts, Lincoln, or Washington would be my picks. There's a reason three of the five are on Mount Rushmore.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 04:13 PM   #25
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In that case, we haven't had a "war" since 1945. Congress hasn't declared war since WWII.
So Iraq and Afghanistan are what? Besides a big hole sucking US dollars out of the Economy. Save your History lessons. Declaration of war is a small formality.
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