C-SPAN’s survey found that the presidency of Abraham Lincoln retains a special aura among historians.
It’s either a grand testimonial to the staying power of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy or a subtle put-down of his many successors, but, regardless, a survey of 65 historians conducted by C-SPAN found that Honest Abe still prevails when it comes to perception of his presidential prowess.
Lincoln finished first in a ranking by historians of the 42 former White House occupants. The survey was released over Presidents Day weekend.
The news wasn’t quite as good for the latest addition to the nation’s most exclusive fraternity: George W. Bush finished 36th in the survey, narrowly edging out the likes of historical also-rans Millard Fillmore, Warren Harding and Franklin Pierce.
James Buchanan—the man who watched helplessly as the nation lurched toward civil war in the 1850s—finished last.