History Might Decide to Like Obama Just Fine
For starters, he won a second term: Nate Silver
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2013 12:07 PM CST
President Obama gestures during the walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House Monday.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(Newser) – Neither of Nate Silver's picks even made it to the Super Bowl, but the stats whiz returns his gaze to politics today—specifically how President Obama might rank in history when all is said and done. Yes, he's aware that what Obama does or doesn't do in the next four years is kind of important on that front, but based on some raw facts—Obama won a second term, and he did so with 62% of the electoral vote—the president's "odds of being regarded well by history seem pretty favorable," Silver writes in the New York Times.

Consider that of 19 presidents who won back-to-back terms, only six rank as average or below in the eyes of historians. (Richard Nixon and George W. Bush are in the "poor" category.) Factoring in Obama's so-so electoral percentage, one chart has him ending up "as about the 17th-best president, somewhere on the boundary between good and average," writes Silver. That's pure numbers, of course, and Obama will have a chance to either "enhance or undermine" his own reputation. Click for Silver's full column.

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brawne
Jan 23, 2013 6:58 PM CST
History seems to be doing a swell job with Reagan. I never see any mention of how his staff stole Carter's debate book in '79. I see nothing about his swearing to never negotiate with terrorists as he negotiated with them. I see nary a word about the fact that he was so stupid that he preferred to carry the launch codes on his person instead of in the football and when he was shot they were found wadded up on the floor of the emergency room with his shorn off clothes. I see nothing about the fact that his dementia started about two years before he left office for good. He tended to read from notecards and they occasionally got out of order and he didn't know enough anymore to read them in order. I see nothing about the fact that Gorbachev practically begged him for a arms treaty and he said--that wouldn't be good for me, politically. That wall would have dropped years earlier without him but someone he's remembered as the guy who said tear it down. History is there for anyone who cares. Ideologic history is there for people who just want to know what they want to know. People worship him, but I lived it and Nancy was the brains behind that operation. She's the one who got rid of all the people keeping him from Gorbachev. She did more to bring that wall down than he ever did. But--it's history. People now a days seem to think that facts are just various things that they can pick and choose based on their tastes. I'm not too thrilled with Obama either, but history will be kind to him. I never forget that I live in a country that elected a black man over a white woman. Obama is a good president who stole his spot cause he's got more ego than patience. And I won't forget that he told McCain that he was going public for funding and then switched and got all that money from Wall Street and outspent McCain two to one. I think Obama is a fine President. But, I wouldn't like him as a neighbor.
SilenceDogood
Jan 23, 2013 5:30 PM CST
History will not, but the history books probably will.
Cat-Lover
Jan 23, 2013 5:27 PM CST
After listening to the president's second inaugural address, I would place him on par with Jesus.