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  • Writer's pictureClarke Wallace


"You’re telling me," a grumpy friend said, "there have been lousier U.S. presidents than the last guy who held up in the oval office?" When I nodded, he grumbled, “Name ‘em!”

What about the latest outgoing U.S president who set the bar pretty high, and was called the worst president ever.

What about James Buchanan, a one-term president – 1857 to 1861 – labelled the worst in historic rankings. In part for condoning the rights of the Southern states, which alienated the anti-slavery Northern Democrats All this while a civil was closing in.

What can we say about Franklin Pierce? (1853-1857). History would nail him with the decline of the Democratic party at the time. His lack of leadership encouraged a growing southern succession movement. He even upheld the controversial Fugitive Slave Act.

William Harrison was a military man of distinction, the first American president to die in office. The poor guy lasted 31 days, thus not fulfilling all he himself expected to handle.

Ulysses S. Grant played a major role in the Union Army in dismantling the Confederacy and supporting civil rights for black citizens. On the other side of the coin, he was known for many allegations of corruption and financial misdoings which plagued his years in office.

John Tyler believed in manifest destiny. Good for him. Then again, maybe not. He became the first head of state to face impeachment.

Lyndon Johnston: He had a bit of the rogue in him. A mirky history, as one critic opined, in his ethics. He allegedly fixed an election which got him a seat in the U.S. Senate. He used his influence to have his wife buy radio and television stations to plug his career. It made him a very rich man.

Author’s comment: I’ve picked out Richard Nixon, the only president who resigned the office over, the Watergate scandal. During his tenure it seems opponents’ offices were bugged or those thought were suspicious. There are many more...

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