11/03/2004

"Great" President

We have witnessed another presidential election. Bush wins! But what kind of president will he be or what kind of president has he been so far? Does the outcome of Iraq effect how we view President Bush? What makes a great president? We all know the names George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln; we all consider them great presidents. What about those that are not admired? "The Great Engineer, Herbert Hoover, took the oath of office in 1929 as the most admired politician in America and left four years later at the depth of the Great Depression as its most reviled." Was this president just a victim of circumstance that perhaps was started before his administration and was beyond his control?

Who do we consider great presidents and who do we consider not so great? Is a great president determined by circumstance and what he does during that circumanstance?

11 comments:

John West said...

Joe, you left out any more modern Presidents like JFK or FDR. Whenever someone speaks of a great President, I think that it simply is referring to a great time in America's history. When life is good for the majority of people, there you will find a President making a name for himself.

Joe said...

John so would you say a president is great depending on the circumstance. If Herbert Hoover was president in the time of Abraham Lincoln we would be saying different things about him.

daniel said...

Joe

I feel that great presidents are remembered for what they do when dealt an unfavorable circumstance. This is why I personally voted to reelect Bush. I’m not saying that he will go down in history as one of the greats, but I do think he has made a valiant effort to do the best he could, given his circumstances. For example, 9-11 was a traumatic time for our country, and I think Bush did a wonderful job at uniting the nation and encouraging us to persevere.

Biancca said...

I think presidents are remembered as great if they happened to be in office at a "happy" time, more than for their efforts and decisions. Anyway the president doesn't really have that much power anyway. Vetos and public opinion- things like that- get in the way. Maybe a dictator could be considered great, but to give all the credit to an American president isn't realistic.

Anonymous said...

I would have to say that the decisions that presidents make while they are in office play a huge role in whether we consider them great or not. I don't think that just because it is a "happy time" in history that makes them great. I don't think that the Civil war was a very happy time in history, but the decisions made by Abraham Lincoln at that time were great decisions. That is why Lincoln is considered great. Also take for instance Bill Clinton, he took office when the economy was doing great and people were happy, but he certainly shouldn't be considered a great president. He was a womanizer and unfaithful husband. The decsions that a president makes is what makes him great.

John West said...

Great American Presidents are remembered for the decisions they make in office. Many people in our country began to dislike George Bush after he took our country to war. American's have a history of getting really squeamish when it comes to seeing any of our brave service men and women dying or being injured day after day. I personally think that Bush doesn't get any sort of credit owed to him by his advesaries, for making the tough decisions that he had to make in a time of the world that was marred by ever changing conditions.

Iraq is an issue that could have lost the election for him, but in the end Americans decided that national morality was a bigger issue. I really feel good with the condition of the world and don't really care if the Europeans currently think that we are the stupidest country in the world. Also, have you all heard of the many people that are moving from this country to Candada because they don't want live under President Bush's rule? I hope that they stay there.

Rufio said...

That seems pretty extreme to leave a country because you don't like the president. I'm sure the numbers are small and will have no effect upon the economy. Besides we probably have more people moving into the country than we have moving out, and the ones that are coming will strengthen the economy more than those that have left. I don't think we have anything to worry about.

Bryce Larkin said...

How can anyone say President Bush is not great? I know that there are people out there that don't like him. But, after we have 9/11 happen on our soil, what is a president supposed to do? I think he did great. We were attacked so we attacked them; we did not wait and make sure everyone and their dog we ok with it. Actually at the time it happened the majority of America was for the war.

miles said...

I think that a president can be judged on what he does with the circumstances he is under and how he acts in when faced with trials. Although, I think that the future the only way to know if a president is great. No one knows how the decisions a president makes now will affect us 10 years down the road. I wonder how many Americans supported Lincoln, Hoover, FDR, and JFK. I'm sure that many people doubted them and what they did in office.

Maudi said...

Bush is a fine upstanding man and I trust him with our country. I hope that he can get things under control in Iraq. I think that with those pressures of war off his shoulders we could really see what a great guy he is. I beleive we would also be able to watch him attach those issues that are important here on the home front.

Dr. Tufte said...

Umm ... where's the managerial economics here?

There's a saying that I'm paraphrasing that great presidents are lucky to have served in exciting times.

BTW: Lincoln nearly lost his reelection bid in 1864.