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Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Washington Fading

For years George Washington has been considered one of our nation's best presidents but recent polls show that his popularity might be waning. According to recent polls:

In a poll commissioned by Washington College for President's Day, Americans rated Abraham Lincoln as the greatest president. A CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll put Ronald Reagan on top. Many young adults have only sketchy information about Washington, according to the college's poll.

Asked who was the greatest president, 20 percent of those polled chose Lincoln. Reagan was picked by 15 percent, Franklin D. Roosevelt by 12 percent, John F. Kennedy by 11 percent, Bill Clinton by 10 percent and George W. Bush by 8 percent. Washington was picked by 6 percent. In the CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll, Reagan had 20 percent, followed by Clinton and Lincoln in the mid-teens and then Roosevelt and Kennedy at 12 percent.


I have no doubt that Lincoln gets the nod as the greatest president of all time but it seems from reading the article that recent presidents are more popular than older ones. That might be a natural bias since the recent presidents actions are fresh in our memories and their actions have yet to be judged in history. Also, Reagan's recent death probably helped his rating. Washington also was not an active President which makes him seem less appealing when looking at the active presidents since Roosevelt. Still, Washington should never be forgotten for how he conducted himself in office.

FOR DISCUSSION: What makes a great president?

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