Who was the greatest American President?

United States
October 12, 2008 2:59pm CST
Who do you think was the greatest American president of all time? And why?
2 people like this
9 responses
@irisheyes (4373)
• United States
12 Oct 08
FDR. His influence affects everything we do to this very day. The financial mess we are in right now has roots in the repeal of Roosevelt banking legislature. The collapse of the S&L's in the 1980s - same thing. He formed the FDIC, isssued social security numbers, started social security, put people to work through the WPS including artists which saved the arts in America. He developed natural resouces and Lead the US through a depression and a World War. Through it all, he never fear mongered. He told Americans that the only thing they had to fear was fear itself. How different from the politicians of today who push fear so they can claim to keep us safe. We need another FDR and we need him now.
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@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
13 Oct 08
"Through it all, he never fear mongered. He told Americans that the only thing they had to fear was fear itself. How different from the politicians of today who push fear so they can claim to keep us safe. We need another FDR and we need him now." You are SOOOOOO wrong on that one. He may have done good things for this country, but he performed some downright evil and inexcusable acts. He rounded up Asian Americans and put them in concentration camps. He also did it on a much smaller scale with German Americans. He taught Americans to fear Asians and that was wrong. Every president has some skeletons in his closet, but his acts were some of the most despicable of the 20th century.
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@irisheyes (4373)
• United States
14 Oct 08
You raise a good point and the internment camps were certainly an ugly business but I think they had more to do with the racism of the times than with any FDR attempt to fear monger. He did not highly publicize the internments nationally in an attempt to make Americans cower. This is not to excuse him on this but they all have skeltons in their closet and I doubt that we (or any other country) will ever produce a perfect leader but on balance, FDR's presidency was the most powerful and effective and produced a lot of good. We were at the time he came into office ripe for a Hitler with conditions close to what Germany experfienced before going down the wrong road. Fortunately, we got a lot better. At this point there seeems to be a backlash against Roosevelt's presidency and I expect to hear a lot more about the evil he did. Some will be real (as you've noted) and some not so real. That strikes me as odd coming at a time when we are experiencing some real financial woe that has at its root the repeal of some very essential Roosevelt banking statutes and it may not be a total coincidence.
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@iriscot (1290)
• United States
12 Oct 08
Being interested in the beginning of this great nation I would have to put George Washinton close to the top of the list. Next there has to be a place near the top for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Those of us who lived in depression times will always revere FDR. He took over a nation that had been beaten down by those in Washington who believed that the wealthy and big business was more important that the working class. We have about the same situation today and another leader is going to have to step up and get us out of this mess we're in. Hoover did nothing to help the situation and the Bush administration has followed the same path. We need someone with a new vision and it sure isn't McCain and the Piranha he has for a running mate. Sorry if I got a little off subject, but I've been there when we didn't have 10 cents to buy a loaf of bread, let alone put peanut butter and jelly to put on it.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Oct 08
I am sure that our age has much to do with how we view past presidents. Someone who was alive during the depression would probably see things much differently than I do. Listening to my grandparents and others speak of the time can give me a picture but it isn't the same as first hand experience.
@camomom (7536)
• United States
12 Oct 08
Bill Clinton, because he was a real person with real problems and issues and real mistakes. He proved that you don't have to be perfect to be president. He proved that even the most important people in the world are just human.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Oct 08
I sorta agree (by sorta I mean he's not my favorite). And I can't believe that people wanted him impeached for having an affair. It didn't hurt the country or go against the constitution in any way.
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@xfahctor (14128)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
12 Oct 08
the articlals of impeachment were on a charge of pergury, not having the affair. Affairs aren't ilegal, a lie under oath is.
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@camomom (7536)
• United States
12 Oct 08
X, you are correct but wouldn't you lie about it if you were president? I would.
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@xfahctor (14128)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
12 Oct 08
SO many names come to mind. Sadly, only history ends up judging who was the best. the best presidents are almost never recognized by all in their own time or term. I would have to say in MY lifetime that was probably Reagan. His work with the cold war, the groundwork he laid for economy, though hated in his time for it, his candor, his humor and his way of just being himself, a man that many people could identify with.
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• United States
12 Oct 08
Yeah. Presidents are like artists. They have to die for their works to be respected.
@matt0707 (43)
• United States
22 Oct 08
I'm saying Abe Lincoln. I don't only like him for what he did, but how he did it. He surrounded himself with people that didn't share the same views as him, and some people actually hated him. I think that was great. John McCain talks about reaching across party lines, I think that all presidents should be like Liconln and listen to people that know more about a subject than they do.
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@ersmommy1 (12600)
• United States
16 Oct 08
Three Presidents—George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt – are consistently ranked at the top of the lists. At the bottom of the same sort of lists are Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and George W. Bush. I think an important one that is only sometimes mentioned is JFK. He was young and a ground breaker.
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@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
13 Oct 08
Teddy Roosevelt has always been my favorite, but if I were just giving the title of best, I'd lean towards Lyndon B. Johnson. He passed the civil rights act and the voters rights acts. He also appeals to my love of unsung heroes in that Kennedy is constantly given credit for things done by LBJ.
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@soooobored (1187)
• United States
12 Oct 08
Teddy Roosevelt. He was incredibly straightforward, even when he knew he was making an unpopular decision.
@annjilena (5620)
• United States
15 Dec 08
i think abraham lincoln was the greatest president because he freed the slaves.