Alex Massie

Rating the Presidents

Text settings

Shamelessly plundering the idea from Norm, it's time for an exciting new development here at Debatable Land HQ: Polling! Yes, indeed...

And given that this is a Presidential election year in the United States, what better way to begin than by conducting a Presidential poll? We are familiar with polls in which historians rank US Presidents in order of greatness in which the same names - Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and so on - always finish at the top. So let's attempt something a little different.

The Debatable Land polling organisation wants you to nominate your choices for the Most Over-Rated and Most Under-Rated Presidents in American history.

The rules are simple:

1. You may nominate up to three Presidents in each category.

2. Three points will be awarded to your first selection, two to your second and one to your third. If you do not state an order of preference, each nominee will receive two points.

3. Nominations should be emailed to me by clicking here .Or you can leave them in the comments section below.

4. You may also, of course, give your reasons and I'll endeavour to publish a representative sample of those too. All personal information will, obviously, also be kept confidential... (So, yeah, US government employees can vote too!)

5. The closing date for submissions is on or around Sunday May 11th.

6. Remember: you are not choosing the best or worst Presidents, but those whom you think history and pundits have over-rated and under-rated respectively.

7. If you have a blog yourself, let me know the URL and I'll include a link to your site when the results are published.

8. That is all. Again, email me! (

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleSociety