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This Chart Shows American Presidents Ranked from Best to Worst

Published On 02/24/2017 Published On 02/24/2017

Since America was an upstart little nation comprised of 13 colonies-cum-states, we’ve had presidents. This country has seen 45 chief executives lead the body politic through depressions, wars, and also recessions and many wars. Being president is a tough gig -- just ask Obama -- and history is often the best barometer of a commander-in-chief’s job performance.

Luckily, the statisticians at Overflow Data have produced a stunning visualization of all presidents, ranked from best to worst by historians. Using a C-Span survey that asked historians to assess presidential job performance according to criteria like public persuasion, crisis management, economic leadership, and other qualities, the chart pits Abe Lincoln as pretty much the universal champion of all presidents. After all, the man literally steered the country clear of collapse when it was literally at war with itself.

Many of these men have seen their historical impact wane as time passes. (Anyone who can name three major policy initiatives enacted by Millard Fillmore without using Google gets a prize.) But anyway, it’s always nice to pay homage to leaders of the past -- especially Martin Van Buren, who had epic mutton shops.

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster. 

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