The panel moved former President Barack Obama up to 8th place from his previous 18th place from a 2014 ranking. Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin Roosevelt still hold their spots as the top three presidents. Bill Clinton and Andrew Jackson’s rankings both slid for evolving criticisms of their treatment of women and Native Americans, respectively.
Some people on Twitter had qualms about the ranking, which places Trump dead last even after James Buchanon, whose presidency oversaw the U.S. launch into the Civil War.
It speaks poorly to the field of presidential scholarship that political scientists have Trump ranked as the worst president of all time **after only one year on the job**, below presidents who e.g. helped blunder us into the Civil War & Great Depression. https://t.co/QGjW2gwCU4 pic.twitter.com/VpddS46Rkb
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 19, 2018
Trump the worst president? I mean I'll leave it up to folks to decide the exact ranking, but Buchanan ushered us into a Civil War… I'm just saying. https://t.co/GlbBBf8Onu
— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) February 19, 2018
Others were less surprised by the ranking. Trump’s first year in office included a revolving door of White House staffers, an investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election, and wayward tweets blasted daily from the president himself—to say nothing of the policies or the culture of polarization under the Trump presidency.
On this Presidents Day we think of men like James Buchanan, Warren Harding and Richard Nixon and think how low the bar was set to be the worst president. And then we think how far beneath it Donald Trump has gotten in only a year. He is the worst of the worst. It's not close.
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) February 19, 2018
Donald J. Trump is the worst president in history.
– Retweet if you agree #PresidentsDay2018
— Nate Roy (@natehoIe) February 19, 2018
In December, a Gallup poll named Obama as America’s Most Admired Man. Trump became the first elected U.S. president to not win the poll during his first year in office.