A survey of historians, sponsored by cable channel C-SPAN, has ranked the Presidents of the United States from George Washington through George W. Bush.
To watch a C-SPAN video on the survey, click here.
To read the Yahoo! news article, click here.
For the second time in a row, the C-SPAN survey has ranked Lincoln above Washington, though Washington did a favorable swap with now-third place finisher Franklin D. Roosevelt.
While Abraham Lincoln was a great leader and strong President, it's a fact that our 16th President committed a few key missteps at the beginning of his presidency. This takes nothing away from the man. No one is perfect, and everyone has to learn. And Lincoln did.
Clearly, Lincoln deserves to be in the Top Five of our Presidents. In fact, I'd rank him at #2. But....Number One?????
Sorry, that prize goes to and must remain with George Washington. Our first President was truly the indispensable man. Without Washington, there would be no United States of America.
Significantly, President Washington had no frame of reference for his conduct as Head of State. Lincoln had fifteen predecessors to look to (for lessons both good and bad) and a fairly well-established Republic to govern. Sure, it split into a Civil War, but there had to be something there to split. In Washington's case, the nation was truly an infant - with no idea where to go or what to do.
Even though Washington may not be first in the minds of historians, he must always remain first in our hearts as Americans.