Tags: President | Poll | Dwight-Eisenhower

President Dwight Eisenhower: WWII Success Ranks Ike High in Presidential Polls

Image: President Dwight Eisenhower: WWII Success Ranks Ike High in Presidential Polls
US President General Dwight David 'Ike' Eisenhower, 18 October 1957 in Washington. (AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 08 Aug 2014 05:14 PM

When Dwight D. Eisenhower left the White House in 1961, he was generally held in low esteem by historians ranking his presidency, but assessments of his two terms in office have steadily improved since then.

A Schlesinger Poll conducted in 1962 ranked Eisenhower 22nd out of 31 presidents, placing him at the bottom of the list of "average" presidents.

"Within two decades, however, a transformation of Eisenhower's reputation had begun in the scholarly literature," Fred Greenstein, a professor of politics at Princeton, writes for the History News Network.

Where Do You Rank Eisenhower? Vote in Newsmax Presidential Poll – Click Here Now

"As the inner records of his presidency came into the public domain, an Eisenhower emerged who was far removed from the image he cast as figurehead president."

By 1982, a poll ranked the former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe as the ninth best U.S. president of all time. Another poll in 1994 ranked him at No. 8, and in 1996 he was ranked at No. 7.

Interestingly, a 2008 survey by The Times in the U.K. ranked "Ike" as the sixth best president in American history, behind only Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt.

"Eisenhower's stock has risen considerably over the last three decades, so much so that many American historians now rate him as one of the USA's 10 greatest presidents," Alan Farmer writes in a review of a book about Eisenhower for History Today.

The book's author, he adds, is forced to conclude that "in the final analysis, there is no denying the fact that Eisenhower presided over seven and a half years of peace and relative prosperity."

After World War II, when Eisenhower was urged to run for the White House, he said he was "not available for and could not accept nomination to high political office." Instead he became president of Columbia University.

But in 1952, he declared himself a Republican, won the GOP presidential nomination, and defeated Democrat Adlai Stevenson by a margin of 442 to 89 votes in the Electoral College, with Stevenson winning mostly in the then-solidly Democratic South.

He won re-election over Stevenson by an even wider margin in 1956, the year he authorized construction of the Interstate Highway System, and the following year sent U.S. troops to Arkansas to forcibly desegregate schools in Little rock.

Is Obama a Better President Than Eisenhower? Vote in Newsmax Presidential Poll – Click Here Now

Eisenhower died in 1969 at age 78.

Some political observers point to Eisenhower's failings, including his commitment to support South Vietnam in 1954 after refusing to aid the French there, his support of the CIA's efforts in Iran, Guatemala, and elsewhere, and his ineffective handling of Joseph McCarthy.

But Eisenhower "had a gift for lucid written expression markedly at variance with the famously jumbled syntax of his press conferences, a capacity to cut to the core of problems, and an ability to arrive at persuasive assessments of complicated problems," Greenstein observes.

Ike was also "a skilled political operator" who "engaged in the kinds of politicking that many believed he left to subordinates."

An opinion piece published by the Eisenhower Institute concludes: "Recent scholarship on Eisenhower has resulted in a reshuffling of the presidential ratings with the 34th president now ranked by scholars in the 9 to 12 range, up from 'average' to 'near great' status.

"So questions obviously remain regarding the legacy and status among scholars of the American presidency of the man who, as Supreme Allied Commander, saved the world from fascism and had such a decisive impact upon the course and direction of the post-war order."

Who Was the Greatest President in the Past 100 Years? Vote in Newsmax Presidential Poll – Click Here Now

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
When Dwight D. Eisenhower left the White House in 1961, he was generally held in low esteem by historians ranking his presidency, but assessments of his two terms in office have steadily improved since then.
President, Poll, Dwight-Eisenhower
625
2014-14-08
Friday, 08 Aug 2014 05:14 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved