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Scholars Rate Worst Presidential Errors

Posted on Feb 20, 2006

In failing to prevent the Civil War, James Buchanan made what scholars termed the worst mistake in presidential history.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - From engaging in sexual relations with an intern to letting the Vietnam War escalate, U.S. presidents have been blamed for some egregious errors.

So who had the worst blunder? President James Buchanan, for failing to avert the Civil War, according to a survey of presidential historians organized by the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center.

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By Ron Raglin, February 21, 2006 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment
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By Ben Vernia, February 20, 2006 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
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Quick—someone tell me that there was some ground rule in the UofL’s forum against including sitting presidents in this analysis.  Surely Bush’s folly in taking the country into the Iraq war already qualifies as one of the top ten presidential blunders, and is far more significant than the Lewinsky scandal, the Iran-Contra scandal, or Jefferson’s Embargo Act.

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By peter b, February 20, 2006 at 9:17 am Link to this comment
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The more important question is who is the WORST PRESIDENT in American history?  George W. Bush, surely, is vying for the dishonor.

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