[The Brazil Times nameplate] Overcast ~ 50°F  
High: 64°F ~ Low: 43°F
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

It seems a little early to be calling him 'the worst'

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A recent U.S. News and World Report online poll asked readers who they felt was the worst president ever.

The poll allowed readers to choose up to three presidents.

Overwhelmingly, their readers responded saying George W. Bush was the worst president in United States history.

Richard Nixon came in second while Jimmy Carter was third, followed by Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Warren Harding, James Buchanan, Herbert Hoover and Lyndon B. Johnson rounding out the top 10.

The result of several polls, the magazine concluded the worst presidents in history were the following: Buchanan, Harding, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore, John Tyler, Ulysses S. Grant, William Henry Harrison, Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon (tied for ninth) and Zachary Taylor, with Jimmy Carter coming in at 11th.

Historians have often cited Buchanan as the worst president in U.S. history. After all, he did not challenge the spread of slavery in this country.

I only bring this up because in just two weeks, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the country's 44th president. George W. Bush will be leaving office Jan. 20.

For several weeks now, many pundits have been asking the question, "Is George W. Bush the worst president in history?"

Honestly, isn't it too early to tell?

Bush hasn't even left office yet and critics are salivating over this notion.

In the magazine's poll, I found it interesting that the top six presidents voted on as the possible worst were all from the past 40 years.

How quickly history is forgotten.

Does this mean that within another 100 years, George W. Bush may be considered one of the greatest presidents of all time?

Again, in reality, no one knows for sure.

The point is, it's simply way too early to tell.

For several years, as stated earlier, Buchanan has been regarded as the worst president in the country's history.

But after voting on the poll, Buchanan only received 11 percent of the vote, while George W. Bush received 72 percent of the vote.

It's easy to ask readers of any publication to vote on something, particularly on something still so fresh in their minds.

The eight-year presidency of George W. Bush isn't really over yet. It ends officially on Jan. 20, 2009.

Buchanan, on the other hand, concluded his presidency in 1861, with the election of Abraham Lincoln.

In this same poll, after voting mind you, it should be noted that Lincoln received 8 percent of the vote.

According to the information provided by the study of results from several polls, that list included Buchanan, Harding, Harrison, Johnson, Pierce, Fillmore, Tyler, Grant, Hoover, Nixon and Tyler.

Of those 10, only Nixon, Carter, Harding, Buchanan and Hoover rated in the magazine's separate poll.

In reality, it will take years to assess the presidency of George W. Bush. While most people will consider him to be the worst (at the moment), I would argue the same amount of people considered Clinton the worst after his presidency ended.

Not the same people, but the same "number" of people. Big difference.

Let it wait. Let history be the judge of George W. Bush, not current events.

Those events, in the long run, may turn out to be great after all.

On the other hand, they may not. But history should be the judge.

Unfortunately, we're still in the present.