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Old 10-18-2012, 01:44 PM
Franc Tireur Franc Tireur is offline
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History shows businessmen make bad presidents

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Republicans make much of Mitt Romney's experience as a businessman and tell us it predicts success as president. But is there a precedent for this, a track record of business success correlating with presidential success? In a word, no. Historically, the relationship between business success and presidential success is zero, perhaps even inverse.

Many surveys have ranked our presidents in terms of their achievements and success or failure in office, assessing such qualities as leadership, political skill, character and integrity, including many surveys of presidential scholars - academic historians and political scientists. by the Wall Street Journal in 2000 and 2005 emphasized a balance between liberal leaning and conservative leaning scholars.


All the surveys produce remarkably similar results. The top tier is always Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Franklin and Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson and Truman. The only post-19th century presidents to crack the bottom quartile are George W. Bush and Warren Harding. An aggregate of the five surveys that included W rank him 34th; presidents ranked lower include such notables as Millard Fillmore, James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson.

For post-19th century presidents, the highest ranked are the Roosevelts, Truman, and Eisenhower. The lowest ranked are Hoover, Coolidge, George W. Bush and Harding. Harding was very successful in business but is consistently rated as one of the worst presidents, so one of the most successful businessmen was a conspicuous failure as president.

The majority of U.S. presidents have been lawyers or career politicians, 21 were both. There were eight generals, some engineers and professors, an actor, and a smattering from other professions. The unquestionably successful businessmen were Andrew Johnson (tailor), Harding (newspaperman), Hoover (mining), Jimmy Carter (farmer), and George H.W. Bush (oilman). Truman, who did so poorly in business he sought public sector employment to make ends meet, became a great president.

Many questions have been raised about George W. Bush's success as a businessman. Some have attributed what success he did have to his connections and his name. His oil business did poorly, but he made over 15 times his original investment in the Texas Rangers. Historians and scholars do not rate him highly as a president. A 2010 poll of presidential scholars ranked him 39th, below Millard Fillmore. The verdict on Bush: mixed to marginal as a businessman, failure as a president.
http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-bl...bad-presidents
 
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  #2  
Old 10-18-2012, 02:40 PM
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ScriptMan ScriptMan is offline
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I am not sure how seriously I would take a scholarly article that does not know the difference between the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Hint: add one to the date for century.

IMO, no president should be judged until 50 years after and when the fullest truth possible is known about what really happened during their term. Current historians often interject their personal bias into the 'history'.
 
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:33 PM
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boxfiddler boxfiddler is offline
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Is Romney a business man? I'm pretty sure I'd classify him as a vulture capitalist. Which isn't quite a 'business man'.
 
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:25 AM
Franc Tireur Franc Tireur is offline
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Originally Posted by boxfiddler View Post
Is Romney a business man? I'm pretty sure I'd classify him as a vulture capitalist. Which isn't quite a 'business man'.
I complety agree with you
 
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