Obama 15th-Best President, Scholars Say

George W. Bush, meanwhile, finishes not quite last
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2010 12:11 PM CDT
President-elect Barack Obama is welcomed by President George W. Bush during a meeting with former presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush, not shown, Jan. 7, 2009.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Two years in, Barack Obama looks like a pretty good president to the nation’s top presidential scholars. The 44th president came in 15th on the all-time list, two spots behind Bill Clinton and three ahead of Ronald Reagan, in a Siena College Research Institute Poll, the New York Daily News reports. Obama got high marks for his intelligence, imagination and communication skills, but lost points for his experience and—what's this? "Family background"?

We can’t have read that right. Please explain. “Most of the presidents came from elite backgrounds, and he certainly did not,” says one scholar. “He grew up without a father.” Apparently that’s a negative for a president. But family background sure didn’t help George W. Bush, ranked 39th on the list. In first: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

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