C-SPAN has released the results of its latest survey of historians, ranking the "42 former occupants of the White House on ten attributes of leadership."
As with C-SPAN's last survey (in 2000), Abraham Lincoln topped the list. In fact there wasn't much movement in the rankings, with a couple of notable exceptions -
Ulysses S. Grant moved up from 33rd to 23rd overall...
Rutherford B. Hayes moved down from 26th to 33rd overall...
And Bill Clinton moved up from 21st to 15th, making him the highest ranked living ex-president. (Gee, ya think that the job his successor did made him look better by comparison???)
As for the most recent ex-occupant of the Oval Office, George W. Bush?
Worse than Democrats Jimmy Carter (25th), Bill Clinton (15th), Lyndon Johnson (11th), and John F. Kennedy (6th).
The only presidents who were ranked lower than baby Bush were William Henry Harrison (who died one month into office), Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan (all of whom presided over the run-up to the Civil War. The best thing that can be said about their presidencies is that without them, Abe Lincoln wouldn't have had the opportunity to become the greatest president), Warren Harding (of Teapot Dome fame) and Andrew Johnson (who, ya know, was the first impeached president).
It'll be fun to watch the Rep blogosphere spin this one...