It’s easy to call Donald Trump the [Comic Book Guy voice] worst. president. ever. But that would be incorrect: he’s only the worst living president.
C-SPAN asked 142 historians and professional observers of the presidency to rank every president of the United States of America in several categories, including Pursued Equal Justice For All, Economic Management, and Performance Within Context of Times. Trump’s best showing was in Public Persuasion, where he placed 32nd. Among all presidents in all categories, he finished #41 out of 44 (Joe Biden was not included and Grover Cleveland, who was elected to two nonconsecutive terms, only counts once).
Historians rate Trump as the worst president in history on two of 10 qualities, “moral authority” and “administrative skills.”
Since 2000, C-SPAN has taken the survey each time there has been a change in administrations. The public affairs network, known for its gavel-to-gavel coverage of the House and Senate, said that in this year’s survey, it significantly increased the number of historians participating and their diversity in race, gender, age, and philosophy.
The only presidents to rank lower than Trump are Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson, and in last place, James Buchanan. Tough break for a terrible POTUS. He finished with a meager 227 points compared to 312 for Trump and 897 for Abraham Lincoln (#1). The rest of the top five goes George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, while Barack Obama ranked the highest among living presidents (#10) followed by Bill Clinton (#19), Jimmy Carter (#26), and George W. Bush (#29).
Meanwhile, the great-great-great-great-whatever grandkids of William Henry Harrison, who died 32 days into his term, can sleep easy tonight knowing that he finished one spot ahead of Trump.