Friday, February 23, 2007

Ranking the Presidents

imho, it is very hard to come up with 5 great presidents. Here's my cut for today:
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Dwight Eisenhower
  • George Washington
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • James Madison
and maybe Teddy Roosevelt

Typically, all of these men had greatness in them. There is not a case of a mediocre man being converted into a giant by his times (goodbye to the zeitgeist theory), but I believe also that the presence of these unique men had to intersect with a time that could support greatness.

In some cases, gw and al, the intersection is bright. If you look at ike and tr, you see a greatness from an event somewhat aside from the presidency, WW II and the Panama Canal. For tj and jm, the greatness was in a towering intellectual capacity embedded in a bias for articulation and making it so.

Who are your five?

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