Various rankings of U.S. Presidents by presidential historians vary, of course, but the most recent ones now include #45, Donald Trump. Here is the latest ranking of the 25 worst in the results of a survey conducted by C-SPAN:
Let the disagreements begin!
24. GHW Bush
16. GW Bush
13. B. Harrison
11. Van Buren
5. WH Harrison (To be fair, it should be noted he served only from March 4 until April 4, 1841.)
2. A. Johnson
And now, first and worst:
1. JAMES BUCHANAN
To read the complete C-SPAN article, please click here.
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In an article for BBC News, Tom Geoghegan resonds to this question: “James Buchanan: Worst US President?”
James Buchanan is often saddled with the title of “the worst US president”, blamed for not averting the Civil War – but efforts are being made to reassess his legacy. How bad was he really?
“My dear sir, if you are as happy in entering the White House as I shall feel on returning to [my home ] Wheatland, you are a happy man indeed!”
Buchanan made this remark to his successor, Abraham Lincoln, in 1861, as he led him to the podium where he would be inaugurated as US president. Buchanan was leaving Washington with his reputation in tatters and was looking forward to a peaceful retirement at his Pennsylvania home. Yet it was anything but.
Such was the animosity directed towards him in public, he could no longer drink in his favourite local taverns and spent much of his post-presidency holed up at home. Outside, the nation tore itself apart in a bloody conflict that became known as “Buchanan’s War.”
The intervening years have not been any kinder. Buchanan consistently ranks bottom in lists of “best presidents.”