“It Could Be Worse for Obama. . .”

Of perhaps you can file this post under “If you’ve lost the Brookings Institution. . .”

The center-liberal Brookings Institution reported last week on the range of surveys of presidential experts (mostly liberals one can safely assume) who rank Obama as no more than middling. But Brookings decided to do their own survey of academic political scientists, and some of it is rather brutal for The One:

First, President Obama ranks 18th overall, but beneath the surface of the aggregate figures lurks evidence of significant ambivalence. For example, those who view Obama as one of the worst American presidents outnumber those who view him as one of the best by nearly a 3-1 margin. Similarly, nearly twice as many respondents view Obama as over-rated than do those who consider him under-rated. One area where there is significant expert consensus about the president, however, concerns how polarizing he is viewed as being – only George W. Bush was viewed as more a more polarizing president.

Next, Obama does not perform well on more specific dimensions of presidential greatness, often viewed as average or worse. For example, he is the midpoint in terms of both personal integrity and military skill (e.g., 10th of 19 in both categories), but falls to 11th when it comes to diplomatic skill and 13th with respect to legislative skill. . .

What can we take away from this? First, it is easy to infer that scholars and the public alike expected greatness from Obama early on and awarded it to him prematurely. . .

Second, scholars seem to hold Barack Obama in high regard personally, but view his skills and performance as mediocre to poor. Few think of Obama as an excellent president, while many more rate his presidency quite low. . .

It could be worse for Obama. Barring unforeseen scandal, he’s unlikely to become significantly less popular. .

That closer is a real vote of confidence.

When you correct the raw data, like a climate scientist might do with a temperature reading (heh), taking into account that the surveyed academics lean decidedly to the Left, you arrive at the correct ranking, which is at the bottom of the bottom, next to James Buchanan and Jimmy Carter.

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