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Examiner
  • Jerry Plantz: Fit for the job? Let's see

  • I last wrote about best and greatest presidents some 14 months ago on Presidents Day.

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  • I last wrote about best and greatest presidents some 14 months ago on Presidents Day.
    Various sources and polls named George Washington, followed by Abraham Lincoln, as America’s greatest presidents. Now it is time to expand to include the most intelligent, and worst, as found on some of Google’s many sources.
    Keep in mind that nine presidents never attended college: Washington, Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Grover Cleveland and Harry Truman.
    The Siena Institute uses 20 criteria such as risk taking, the economy, integrity and party leadership as its means of selecting the best and the worst. Its top five, as of 2010, were Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Lincoln, Washington and Thomas Jefferson (Truman is No. 9). Andrew Johnson is rated as the worst president, followed by James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, Franklin Pierce and George W. Bush.
    Alternet.org has Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Washington, Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt in the top five.
    It also sarcastically lists Dick Cheney as the worst president (and worst vice president), dismissing George W. Bush as a figurehead. After that, its list of worst presidents is Harding, Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon and Andrew Johnson.
    Brainz.org is the latest poll focusing on the ten brightest and those intellectually challenged. It qualifies its findings by asking: What makes someone smart or dumb? Level of education? Talents? Actions? Achievements? IQ? Intellectualism?
    It offered these names for your perusal.
    “If one uses the Intelligence Quotient test as a determinant of smartness, then Richard Nixon is the smartest, with his IQ of 143 ... least ability to avoid making crucial mistakes. This finding was evidenced by Nixon being the only president forced to resign from office.”
    It points out that Bill Clinton is an alumnus of Georgetown, Oxford and Yale, with a law degree from Yale.
    Brainz named Jefferson, John Adams and James Madison in its top three. The dumbest? George W. Bush, followed by Gerald Ford, Andrew Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Calvin Coolidge and Harding.
    However, a 2011 Gallup poll named Ronald Reagan as No. 1 and Bush No. 10 as the best presidents.
    While all polls are subjective and often biased and polemic, they do stimulate mental gymnastics for debating the best and worst who had the honor of becoming president.
    I give you President John Adams’ (my third favorite president, next to Washington and Truman) toast: Independence forever.
    Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at www.Jerryplantz.com. Reach him at jerryplantz@msn.com.

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