An unsurpassed ability to take risks, communicate, lead his party and handle the nation’s economy helped keep President Franklin D. Roosevelt in first place in a ranking of the country’s 43 presidents.
The Siena Research Institute’s 2010 Presidential Expert Poll ranked FDR number one. His cousin and fellow New Yorker, Theodore Roosevelt, came in second, ahead of Abraham Lincoln for the first time.
President Barack Obama came in 15th, within the range of where the country’s sitting chief executives show up in the poll.
“The respondents have been very cautious so new presidents are between 15th and 20th. They don’t want to anoint someone who’s been in office less than a year,” said Tom Kelly, Siena College emeritus professor of history and American studies, and co-director of the study.
Rounding out the top five are Lincoln in third, George Washington in fourth and Thomas Jefferson in fifth. The same five presidents have held the top positions with FDR always in first and Washington always in fourth. The others have moved up and down.
If you are interested, all the details are in this pdf. George W. Bush even makes one of the lists, I would tell you, but that takes all the suspense out of it.