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Ranking Oval Office occupants on their skill at foreign policy

Old 04-02-07, 10:40 AM
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Ranking Oval Office occupants on their skill at foreign policy

From CSM's enewsletter of 1 April (and as far as I know it's not an April Fools joke )

Presidents of the United States usually enter office with a goodly amount of domestic political experience. Dealing with foreign affairs, however, generally requires a lot of on-the-job learning, including about how to deal with crises of various kinds. To determine who have been the greatest foreign- policy presidents over the past century, Foreign Policy magazine put researchers at the College of William and Mary to work surveying 1,112 international relations professors. Based on their answers, Franklin Roosevelt, whose leadership hone during World War II, received the highest marks.The presidents who've one the best and worst jobs handling international issues during this time. according to the survey (<b>Note: Current President Bush was included in the field.</b>):

Best
1. Franklin Roosevelt

2. Harry Truman

3. Richard Nixon

4. Bill Clinton

5. Ronald Reagan


Worst
1. Herbert Hoover

2. Calvin Coolidge

3. William Taft

4. Lyndon Johnson

5. Warren Harding
I strongly suspect if we were to do a similar pool here the results would be very different
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Old 04-02-07, 10:47 AM
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Looks good to me. Bush Jr would have to be hovering near the bottom 5 however. I mean, c'mon.
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Old 04-02-07, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by nemein
I strongly suspect if we were to do a similar pool here the results would be very different
Best
1. Franklin Roosevelt

2. Harry Truman

3. Bill Clinton

4. Al Gore

5. Ronald Reagan


Worst
1. George W. Bush

2. George W. Bush

3. George W. Bush

4. George H.W. Bush

5. George W. Bush
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Old 04-02-07, 11:09 AM
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C'mon, you know we have a much higher conservative membership... More like:


Best
1. George W. Bush

2. Ronald Reagan

3. Richard Nixon

4. George H.W. Bush

5. 18 other Republicans tied for 5th


Worst
1. Bill Clinton

2. Franklin Roosevelt

3. John F. Kennedy

4. Jimmy Carter

5. Harry Truman
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Old 04-02-07, 11:14 AM
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C'mon, you know we have a much higher conservative membership...
After looking at the various polls we've had around here the last couple of years, and comparing them to who posts I think (and this is just me I don't have anything to back this up w/) we have a more vocal conservative membership, but con/lib overall is either balanced or leaning towards the lib side. A couple of unusual things I think most people would agree w/ is; we have a disporportionate number of Libertarians here, and given the number of cons we have they do not seem to be part of the "religious right".




Best
1. George W. Bush

2. Ronald Reagan

3. Richard Nixon

4. George H.W. Bush

5. 18 other Republicans tied for 5th


Worst
1. Bill Clinton

2. Franklin Roosevelt

3. John F. Kennedy

4. Jimmy Carter

5. Harry Truman
WRT your list here and compared to the original list. I don't think Clinton (nor Kennedy) belongs in the worst 5, but I don't think Clinton belongs in the best 5 either. The current Bush certainly doesn't belong in the best 5 but I still think it's too early to tell whether or not he belongs in the worst 5. I do agree though Carter should be in the worst 5.

Last edited by nemein; 04-02-07 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 04-02-07, 11:18 AM
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Franklin Roosevelt?

I guess the people imprisoned in the Eastern Bloc countries for almost 50 years didn't get to vote.
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Old 04-02-07, 11:19 AM
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Best
1. Franklin Roosevelt
2. Richard Nixon
3. Ronald Reagan
4. Bill Clinton
5. Harry Truman

Tough decision between Roosevelt and Nixion.

Worst
1. Lyndon Johnson
2. Lyndon Johnson
3. Lyndon Johnson
4. Lyndon Johnson
5. Lyndon Johnson

Last edited by Lemdog; 04-02-07 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 04-02-07, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by X
Franklin Roosevelt?

I guess the people imprisoned in the Eastern Bloc countries for almost 50 years didn't get to vote.
Roosevelt died before that happened.
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Old 04-02-07, 11:21 AM
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I would put Nixon as best
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Old 04-02-07, 11:22 AM
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I'm actually very shocked that Reagan finished as high as he did. I'm not saying he didn't have a lot of international impact -- he definitely played a role in the collapse of the Soviet Union (although laying the whole thing at his feet seems a bit preposterous), and he had good relations with some of the European countries... but I can't recall his administration doing much for Asia or the Middle East. Or South America, other than his support for the Contras and oppresive dictatorships. And his confrontational and acerbic style certainly did more to exacerbate international relations... it just seems hard to believe that "international relations professors" (whatever that means) would have such a... uh, "broad" view of history.

(BTW, I am not the history buff that some people are... if I am mistaken about RR's foreign policy initiatives, please let me know.)
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Old 04-02-07, 11:23 AM
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None of us can think creatively enough to not copy and paste half the list.

I would bet 90% of us could not tell you how good or bad 50% of the presidents' foreign policies were.

Or maybe It's just me.
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Old 04-02-07, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemdog
Roosevelt died before that happened.
He set it up for it to happen. Some people think it was because he was dying.
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Old 04-02-07, 11:24 AM
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Oh, and not including GWB among the worst???

I doubt that anyone can point to a single foreign policy success from the past six years.
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Old 04-02-07, 11:27 AM
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I doubt that anyone can point to a single foreign policy success from the past six years.
It's my understanding that the security dept's of many countries are more willing to work w/ each other and share info/data now than they were before.

Also the world is finally addressing the NK nuclear problem instead of it remaining in the shadows/behind the scenes. While it's tough going I'd rather it be out in the light instead of it being unknown what they are up too.

Last edited by nemein; 04-02-07 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 04-02-07, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
I doubt that anyone can point to a single foreign policy success from the past six years.
The CIA was finally able to poison Castro's pen, causing his mustache to become so heavy that he fell over.
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Old 04-02-07, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
The CIA was finally able to poison Castro's pen, causing his mustache to become so heavy that he fell over.

that was only in retaliation for someone having spiked the President's pretzel all those years ago
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Old 04-02-07, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
I doubt that anyone can point to a single foreign policy success from the past six years.
Libya giving up nuclear weapons was definitely one.

That being said, foreign policy wise, the Bush administration has been a disaster. They are only attempting to engage at this point because their strong arm tactics didn't work and they are out of options. He should be in the worst 5 in my opinion.

I also don't think Clinton should be in the top 5. He was a lot better than Bush, but he wasn't that great.
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Old 04-02-07, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
Libya giving up nuclear weapons was definitely one.

That's like me giving up supermodels.
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Old 04-02-07, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by nemein
It's my understanding that the security dept's of many countries are more willing to work w/ each other and share info/data now than they were before.
Not sure that I've seen this in practice. I think we stood a lot better chance of having our security departments working together before we invaded Iraq. I think any successes in that area have now reluctantly abated, especially concerning so-called "rogue states" like Iran. (You think Russia would pass along information confirming Iran's nuclear program to the Bush Administration? Ha.)

Originally Posted by nemein
Also the world is finally addressing the NK nuclear problem instead of it remaining in the shadows/behind the scenes. While it's tough going I'd rather it be out in the light instead of it being unknown what they are up too.
Actually, the nuclear problem was out in the light. That's how we knew that Kim Jong-il had resumed his program...


... but that's a guaranteed thread derailment, isn't it?
Originally Posted by VinVega
Libya giving up nuclear weapons was definitely one.
Meh, I could argue the point, but I'll grant that one.
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Old 04-02-07, 01:39 PM
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Clinton?

You've gotta be kidding.

Better than Bush - but.........

My rating:

1. Truman

2. Nixon
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Old 04-02-07, 02:10 PM
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Actually, the nuclear problem was out in the light. That's how we knew that Kim Jong-il had resumed his program...


... but that's a guaranteed thread derailment, isn't it?
Most of the time lines seem to disagree w/ you on that. At the end of the Clinton admin things were supposedly well on their way to being "wrapped up". A couple of years into the Bush admin it's discovered they didn't really stop development at all and were in violation of their previous agreements. That's the part I'm talking about.

Last edited by nemein; 04-02-07 at 02:23 PM.
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