Thursday, July 05, 2007

Reagan Shines

Scott Rasmussen released a poll today showing Ronald Reagan near the top of the best-liked post WWII presidents.

The Gipper shares the number two slot with Dwight Eisenhower—both claiming a 72 percent favorable rating. JFK won top honors, coming in at 80 percent. Harry Truman was a close fourth at 70.

I believe history will eventually show Ronald Reagan to be the dominant post war president. He changed the world. Reagan ended the Cold War, while simultaneously reigniting and restructuring American capitalism through low tax rates, deregulation, and disinflation. It’s good to see him up there in the top three.

President George W. Bush’s low numbers come as no surprise. But it might be instructive to look at Truman’s story. When he ended his presidency he was hovering somewhere in the low 20s because of Korea. Today Bush is in the high 20s with Iraq weighing heavily on him. Could be a parallel there. Time will tell. But rating Bush now is a fool’s errand.