Host: American Enterprise Institute. How are presidents remembered throughout history? Arthur Schlesinger Sr. popularized the ranking of presidents by professional historians, and the American people today are often asked, in numerous surveys, for their opinions of the best and worst presidents. In The Leaders We Deserved (and a Few We Didn’t): Rethinking the Presidential Rating Game (Basic Books, 2008), presidential historian Alvin S. Felzenberg critiques current rating systems and uses an innovative approach to evaluate presidents. Rather than providing an overall grade for each leader, Felzenberg uses six criteria—character; vision; competence; economic policy; preserving and extending liberty; and defense, national security, and foreign policy—to rate each president. Many will be surprised by Felzenberg’s findings, which demonstrate that certain presidents who have obscure places in history may in fact have left lasting legacies. As the November presidential election draws near, it is time to think about how we want our next president to be evaluated. At this event, AEI’s Norman J. Ornstein and John C. Fortier will join Felzenberg to discuss how presidents should be judged throughout history.
Added by insideronline on September 11, 2008