Former President Obama Ranks Pretty Well With Historians

The C-SPAN survey ranks presidents on leadership qualities, including public persuasion and crisis leadership.
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Former President Obama Ranks Pretty Well With Historians

Barack Obama apparently ranks pretty well as far as U.S. presidents go.

The former commander in chief came in 12th on C-SPAN's 2017 Presidential Historians Survey. Obama scored particularly well in pursuing "equal justice for all."

C-SPAN has conducted the survey twice before — in 2000 and in 2009. The results are based on feedback from nationally recognized historians and a list of presidential leadership qualities.

Those qualities include things like public persuasion, economic management and international relations. Each president is rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best.

This year, 91 historians took part in the poll. 

The findings might not come as a surprise. When Obama left the White House, the U.S. was — for the most part — in better shape than when he got in.

The U.S. GDP and median household income both increased during Obama's tenure. At the same time, unemployment rates, violent crime rates, CO2 emissions, the number of uninsured people and the federal deficit all went down.

Obama also left office with a majority approval rating.

The former president's lowest score was "relations with Congress." During his term, the executive and legislative branches often had weekslong battles over partisan issues.

Ahead of Obama is — among others — President Abraham Lincoln, who took the prize for best overall U.S. presidential leader. He was followed closely by George Washington.

Former presidents James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson hold the two worst overall scores.

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