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Happy Birthday, Jimmy - Here Are Some Rankings!
Jimmy Carter was born on this day in 1924. Come celebrate the next round of presidential rankings and the man he passed as the longest living president in United States history.
James Earl Carter, Jr. was born on this day, October 1, 1924. Born in the smack dab nowhere of Georgia, Jimmy ascended the political ladder rather quickly after serving in the US Navy and farming peanuts, which apparently is a thing.
Carter was elected to the Georgia State Senate in 1963, no doubt surrounded by modern-day Confederates, and served one term. In 1971, he was elected Governor of Georgia, most likely because of modern-day Confederates. Carter dug deep into those hostiles, praising people like George Wallace for existing and painting his opponent as a bad guy because he took pictures with NBA players.
In the presidential election of 1976, in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, Carter was the dark horse candidate - can I use dark horse here? Anyway, no one thought Carter could win against the likes of Wallace and Jerry Brown of California.
Carter went out and smoked them all. Up against Gerald Ford in the general election, Carter carried fewer states than Ford but won the White House by a mere 57 votes.
He would serve one term as president, and we ranked him here in the official DPPR.
As the longest-living president in United States history, we present Jimmy with the next round of presidents we ranked higher. Happy Birthday, Jimmy C!
Now we all get the next round of presidential rankings!
21: John Quincy Adams
2017 Ranking: 22
2019 Ranking: 22
2021 C-SPAN Ranking: 17
Term – March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
Quincy Adams was adamant about uniting the country in a practical sense. Taking region practices, like economies, and creating a central financial system was essential for the survival of a young nation that we are stronger as one. He was a huge BIG GOVERNMENT advocate, and thank goodness he was.
His administration was underwhelming. Quincy Adams was a poor politician, and politics was a rising profession when he took office. The election of 1824 didn't help when the House voted to award him the presidency, despite Jackson's higher total in the electoral college and popular votes (Thanks William Crawford and Henry Clay!)
Quincy Adams is perhaps the most decorated and effective diplomat in United States history. As the son of the second president, he led a life that featured numerous trips abroad, the highest education the country provided, and a general curiosity to learn. Like Bush, he was an avid writer. This time of poetry.
Why did I rank him here?
Quincy Adams has always been an interesting guy to me. I was afraid to like him; I grew up a Jackson man. The "everyday man" sort of ideal. Jackson was transformative in breaking from the Founding Father's legacy; therefore, Quincy Adams might have done some good, but really wasn't all that great.
John Quincy Adams is one of a few presidents who I have come to change my mind about. I'm not sure I would rank him higher. Although his stance against slavery appeals to me greatly. Lincoln was a pallbearer at his funeral.
20: George H. W. Bush
2017 Ranking: 21
2019 Ranking: 21
2021 C-SPAN Ranking: 21
Term – January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
Bush played a pivotal role in the Cold War. Throughout his political career, Bush was at the center of activity in determining the outcome. His relationship with Mikal Gorbachev proved to be helpful to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The Reunification of Germany was also a good thing.
Domestically, the economy did not fare well. Was the first Iraq invasion a good idea, considering how we returned for seconds not less than ten years later?
Rumsfeld, Cheney, his son, George. Bush's legacy wasn't the greatest. Less than 10 years after he left office, we got eight more years of the same people, which wasn't great. I tend to try and focus on his pragmatic bipartisanship when that was still a thing that worked. Bush would never be elected by Republicans of today – and it certainly isn't his fault.
Why did I rank him here?
I genuinely like Bush senior. One thing I liked about him was his affinity to write letters to people. Whatever you think about him politically, the art of writing letters to friends, families, acquaintances, and political opponents is a lost art. I spent the summer of my sophomore year in college writing letters to friends all over the country. Nothing got me a bigger kick than receiving letters back. It’s a fun memory.
Do you have a different view of a president? What changed your mind? Let us know below.