Happy Presidents’ Day, Jimbo—You Are No Longer the Worst!

Sometimes we take things for granted: the days are getting longer, the climate is getting warmer, the wealthy are getting wealthier, the Patriots always win, and James Buchanan’s rank as the worst president of all time would always hold true.

But now that New England lost the Super Bowl, the floodgates have opened, and who is the major beneficiary? James Buchanan.

For the first time in recent memory his previously unchallenged position at the bottom has finally succumbed to the pressure of a failed real estate mogul, confessed sexual abuser, pathological liar, and general misanthrope named Donald Trump.

It’s true. In a recent survey that comprised voters of all political leanings, Trump nosed out Buchanan with a rating of 12 to Buchanan’s 15. It’s not a slam dunk, but it’s something to build on as @realDonaldTrump muddles through the days and weeks on his way to impeachment or resignation or, dare we dream? both?

Surveyed Republicans—his enablers, apologists, and handlers—were less unkind, placing Trump ahead of Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, William Henry Harrison, and the perennial cellar-dwelling Buchanan. Independents gave Trump a 16 to Buchanan’s 14, but Democrats’ single-digit rating of our current “very stable genius” (an 8!😏) brought home the trophy for Mr. Trump which he can now shove place in the Mar-a-Lago trophy case.

The survey also pointed out some other factoids you might want to toss around on this Presidents’ Day:

  • In the 2014 survey, Ronald Reagan was 11; now he’s 9. (He looks better to everybody now.)
  • Bill Clinton dropped from 8 to 13. (Same reason, but substitute worse for better.)
  • Andrew Jackson, by virtue of Trump’s adulation and that Oval Office picture that seemingly turns up in every photograph, went from 9 to 15.
  • And in another Trump-related move—and one which I hope reaches Trump’s Twitter account—Barack Obama rose from 18 to 8, the largest jump on the chart. Even Republican scholars placed Obama 24 places ahead of Trump.
  • (Washington, Lincoln, and FDR hold down the top three places, though in differing sequences depending on party affiliation.)

For all of us who have been claiming that no president has ever been worse than this one, we at least have a fairly thorough survey to confirm it. And though it’s difficult to celebrate Presidents’ Day in a country without an actual president, little diversions like this can sometimes help.

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