Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium
It's a perennial pastime to rate U.S. Presidents on an all-time
ranking: Certain Presidents were "Great," others were "Near-Great,"
and so on down to "Failures" and "Unmitigated Disasters."
(OK, we made that last category up.) But as Alvin Felzenberg
points out, there are many flaws with these rating systems.
Despite reams of new historical information, the rankings never
seem to change very much. They all favor a certain kind of
President - those who tended to increase executive power.
That aside, the idea of rating presidential performance on a simple
linear scale is absurd. The Leaders We Deserved (and a
Few We Didn't) breaks presidential performance into easily
understandable categories - character, vision, competence, foreign
policy, economic policy, human rights, and legacy - and assesses,
for each category, the best and worst. The result is a
surprisingly fresh look at how our various Presidents stack up
against each other, with some of the "greats" coming off far worse
than their supposedly mediocre colleagues.
Alvin S. Felzenberg teaches at the Annenberg School for
Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. He was the
principal spokesman for the 9/11 Commission, an advisor to the
Department of Defense and the Voice of America, and served in
several senior staff positions at the U.S. House of Representatives
as well as New Jersey's Assistant Secretary of State.
Alvin S. Felzenberg
Director, Lectures & Seminars
While this event has passed, we have archived its content and discussion in our archive.
Do you have any questions about this event or want more information? We'd be happy to help. We have answers to many of our frequently asked questions at your disposal, or you may also contact:
PROGRAM COORDINATOR, LECTURES & SEMINARS
Nearly every incoming Administration has pledged that its appointees will be subject to and will comply with the highest standards of ethical conduct. The — Read more
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg described the Warsaw Summit held in July as a “defining moment in the history of our alliance.” Now more — Read more
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued its proposed rule for “Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans.” The proposal is open for — Read more
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, includes a Chinese pledge to invest $46 billion in a series of Pakistani rail, — Read more
In America today, is a Christian society possible? Is it even desirable? Yes and yes, says R. R. Reno. In fact, he warns, without a — Read more
Fifty years ago, a closely divided Supreme Court decided a criminal procedure case known to almost every American – Miranda v. Arizona. To protect — Read more
A book eventWhat is really happening in the Catholic Church in North America? Are parishes thriving or dying? Is dissatisfaction among Catholics growing — Read more
This October marks the 30th anniversary of then-Attorney General Ed Meese’s speech on “The Law of the Constitution,” which was part of a series of — Read more
The federal government employs about two million employees, to the tune of roughly $337 billion per year. The magnitude of federal employment underscores the — Read more
From the IRS targeting of certain advocacy organizations, to proposals to overturn free speech cases and give Congress power to restrict political speech, to restrictions — Read more
The Heritage Foundation is the nation’s most broadly supported public policy research institute, with hundreds of thousands of individual, foundation and corporate donors. Heritage, founded in February 1973, has a staff of 275 and an annual expense budget of $82.4 million.
Our mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. Read More
Receive updates from Heritage about current events and initiatives in your email inbox
Already Signed up?
© 2016, The Heritage Foundation Conservative policy research since 1973