Historians rank Obama as 12th best US president in new survey

NEW YORK — President Barack Obama was ranked the 12th best United States president in a new survey that was released Friday.

The survey, conducted by C-SPAN, had 91 presidential historians rank past presidents. Obama, the first time making the list, ranked 12th as overall best president in American history. He also scored high for “pursued equal justice for all,” “moral authority” and “economic management.”

However, Obama was ranked one of the lowest in “relations with Congress,” taking the 39th spot in the survey.

Obama ranked higher than former presidents Bill Clinton (who placed 15th) and George W. Bush (ranked 33). Bush moved up three spots since the 2009 survey, C-SPAN reported.

“That Obama came in at number 12 his first time out is quite impressive,” Dr. Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Rice University, said in the news release.

The rating correlates with Obama’s high approval rating when he left office. A Gallup survey showed 59 percent approval rating for Obama. However, some thought the former president would rank higher.

“Although 12th is a respectable overall ranking, one would have thought that former President Obama’s favorable rating when he left office would have translated into a higher ranking in this presidential survey,” Dr. Edna Greene Medford, Professor of History at Howard University, said.

Abraham Lincoln took the top spot in the survey, followed by George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt.

The three presidents that have been ranked the worst were James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Franklin Pierce. They were also ranked the worst in the 2000 and 2009 surveys.