George W.: The Worst President Ever?

There is little debate that George Bush has not been a succesful president. Almost everything in America is worse off than it was when he took office, with the notable exception of religious extremism. But where does W rank among the worst ever? This was a question posed to a number of historians in 2003, and their conclusion were interesting. Over 80% rated him as a failure, and most thought he was the second worst ever, besides Nixon. Here’s a typical assessment:
“My assessment is that George W. Bush?s record on running up debt to burden our children is the worst since Ronald Reagan; his record on government surveillance of citizens is the worst since Richard Nixon; his record on foreign-military policy has gotten us into the worst foreign mess we?ve been in since Lyndon Johnson sank us into Vietnam; his economic record is the worst since Herbert Hoover; his record of tax favoritism for the rich is the worst since Calvin Coolidge; his record of trampling on civil liberties is the worst since Woodrow Wilson. How far back in our history would we need to go to find a presidency as disastrous for this country as that of George W. Bush has been thus far? My own vote went to the administration of James Buchanan, who warmed the president?s chair while the union disintegrated in 1860-61.”
It would be interesting to see what they thought now, after it was discovered that his office outed a CIA agent, the war in Iraq has taken a turn for the worse, and the embarrasment that was the Katrina rescue effort.

But a recent poll done by a professor at Northwestern and the Wall Street Journal has him doing a little better, finishing as the 19th best president. Here is an article claiming he is the worst ever written this past May. Another claim of him as worst ever written last week.