John F. Kennedy Ranked No. 1 Modern President

Tuesday, January 20, 2011

50 years ago today, John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th president of the United States

According to the annual Gallup survey, Mr. Kennedy is the highest-rated modern president, and no surprise, Richard M. Nixon gets the lowest marks.

Of the nine U.S. presidents who have served in the past 50 years, John F. Kennedy continues to earn the highest retrospective job approval rating from Americans, now at 85%. Ronald Reagan ranks second, with 74%. Bill Clinton places at third place, while Jimmy Carter dropped from third to sixth. Richard Nixon remains the lowest rated.

Kennedy has consistently ranked No. 1 in this Gallup measure initiated in 1990.

This is Gallup’s first retrospective approval measure of George W. Bush since he left office in 2009. His 47% approval and 51% disapproval rating puts him in Nixon’s company as the only two presidents whose retrospective disapproval exceeds their approval, although the balance is much more negative for Nixon: 29% approve and 65% disapprove.

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8 Responses to John F. Kennedy Ranked No. 1 Modern President

  1. Woodcliffe says:

    I am not surprised by John Kennedy’s high ranking. He was unique and much beloved among modern, American presidents. From his call to the country to embrace service, to his handling of the Bay of Pigs, and his untimely assassination, I believe he will always be held in high regard.

    What I find disturbing is Reagan comes in second. Reagan? What did he ever do to earn the second spot just behind John Kennedy?

  2. feminazi says:

    John Kennedy is still revered. Amazing, isn’t it? I’m old enough to recall where I was and what I was doing the day he was killed. He was a truly inspirational president. Handsome, smart and bold. In the words of his wife, the late Jacqueline Kennedy, “There will never be another Camelot.” She was correct.

  3. Stephan Iversonn says:

    Reagan is second? I think it’s time to tear down that myth. Here’s a few quotes from Ronald Reagan and then let’s think about his high ranking.

    “My fellow Americans. I’m pleased to announce that I’ve signed legislation outlawing the Soviet Union. We begin bombing in five minutes.”

    “It’s true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?”

    “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

    “Facts are stupid things.”

    “Trees cause more pollution than automobiles.”

    “All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk.”

    “We are trying to get unemployment to go up, and I think we’re going to succeed.”

    Reagan didn’t come down with Alzheimer’s Disease while in office. He was born with Alzheimer’s Disease.

  4. libhomo says:

    The only one of those presidents I would give a positive approval rating to is Jimmy Carter.

  5. fran says:

    20/20 hindsight. Kennedy had lots of opponents– some say enough to conspire his assassination.

    Nixon was a choir boy compared to G.W. Bush.

    He broke the law & lied about it– he resigned rather than face impeachment taking a comfortable retirement package with him.
    Bush 2 never faced impeachment, yet was at the helm of mass murder, torture & a long list of impeachable crimes.

  6. Pechanga says:

    John and Jackie Kennedy have taken on a mythological stature in American political culture.

    Like all myths, some of it is true and some of it isn’t. But no one can deny, they were a stunning, glamorous couple — especially after the dowdy Eisenhowers.

  7. Tiny Dancer says:

    Jacqueline Kennedy is a goddess!

    Especially, compared to Pickles Bush, Hillary Clinton, Babs Bush or Nancy Reagan. “Jackie” had style, grace, culture and poise. Plus, she could speak Spanish and French fluently and read history.

  8. I was in college (in India) when Mr Kennedy became President and in first year medical school when he was assassinated.Like Adlai Stevenson said “most of us who knew him will carry the grief of his death to the day of our own “.Why ? His Presidency was clearly about three things 1.An end to racial injustice 2.An end to poverty 3. An end to tyranny (in those days Communism).In all three areas he introduced legislation domestically and programs and treaties internationally to achieve those ends.His Commencement Address to the students of American University in Washington DC in June of 1963 should be required reading for all future President.

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