Bad Presidents pp 199-209 | Cite as

The Latest Bad President?: George W. Bush

  • Philip Abbott
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency Series book series (EAP)


One of the standards for a plausible classification is the capacity to add new entries. Presidential rankings of George W. Bush by historians and political scientists have moved steadily downward, from nineteenth in a 2005 poll to thirty-sixth in 2009. In another poll in 2008, 61 percent of respondents placed him last; in a 2010 poll he was ranked at thirty-ninth.1 Since volatility among lower ranked presidents is relatively low, it is likely that these assessments will place Bush among the “irredeemables” identified by Jean H. Baker that we discussed earlier. Even taking into consideration the closeness to the present, these presidential rankings can provide an initial basis for the comparative evaluation of Bush. Does Bush share common features with some or all of these very bad presidents (as many respondents have suggested) or is his badness different? Or are other interpretations possible that link Bush more closely with other presidents, even “good” or “great” ones?


Voter Turnout Bush Administration Executive Branch Executive Power American Political Science Association 
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© Philip Abbott 2013

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  • Philip Abbott

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