Posted by Brad @ 2:43 pm on May 1st 2008

The Most Over-Rated and Under-Rated American Presidents

Hat tip to Doug, The Debatable Land has the question up and is asking for people far and wide to submit their picks. Presumably they’ll tally them up at the end, and he’ll publish an informal report. The link is here.

The question is not best or worst, but most under-rated and over-rated.

I’m going to think on it a bit before I give mine (which I’ll post in the comments here and, I suppose, the comments there). I can already be certain that Lincoln (and probably FDR) makes over-rated and Coolidge makes under-rated. I wonder if Lyndon Johnson might make both. I could also make a pretty good case for Nixon as under-rated and Reagan as over-rated. Jackson for under-rated (he seems to be pretty hated by historians, for very good reasons, but he sure did bring the country out of the swamps in a lot of ways)? I dunno, lots to think about.

Anyway, what about you?


  1. John Adams may now have gotten so much hype for being underrated that he’s actually become overrated. The reverse may now be true of Lincoln and FDR.

    I’ll put in a plug for John Tyler as underrated and Woodrow Wilson as overrated. Explanation will follow when I have more time.

    Comment by Rojas — 5/1/2008 @ 3:54 pm

  2. Coolidge was a great President, and so was the man he served as VP for.

    Comment by Arsenic — 5/2/2008 @ 2:03 pm

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