Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sorry Trump..............

 Past businessmen did poorly as presidents

Paul Brandus

He’s a sharp-elbowed businessman who gets things done. A tough-as-nails negotiator. A no-BS guy who tells it like it is. But does this mean Donald Trump would be a good—or great—president?
History suggests that there is no link between success in the business world and success in the White House. In fact—and surprisingly—the opposite appears to be true. Presidents with business backgrounds rank poorly among historians and voters, who have turned several of them out of office for poor performance. In fact, since 1900, the only president who is today considered great—Harry Truman—was a failed businessman.
In recent years, two separate, well-respected surveys of historians, political scientists and presidential scholars have ranked the presidents in order of greatness. What did the Siena College Research Institute and American Political Science Association each conclude? That in the aggregate, presidents who first worked in the business world before entering politics, tend to rank in the bottom third of all presidents. Here they are:

PresidentBusiness skillSiena ranking Apsa
Warren HardingNewspaper publisher4342
Calvin CoolidgeVP, Nonotuck Savings Bank, Northampton, Mass.3127
Herbert HooverMining2938
Harry TrumanHaberdasher76
Jimmy CarterFarmer2726
George H.W. BushOilman2217
George W Bush
Oilman, Major League Baseball team co-owner 34

The average ranking for this group is 27 and median is 28, so out of 43 presidents (yes, only 43 men have been president), the group ranks near the bottom third. Voters agree with the historians: three of the seven businessmen-turned-presidents were kicked out after just one term in office: Hoover, Carter and the first George Bush. Were it not, in fact, for Truman, the average of 27 and median of 28 for this group would have been even worse.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that a President Trump would fare as these men did. But it does suggest that business success is not enough.
Now let’s look now at the presidents of the modern era who lacked business backgrounds. How do they rate? .

PresidentPrimary backgroundSiena rankingApsa
Theodore RooseveltNYC police commissioner, assistant Navy secretary, governor of New York, vice president54
William Howard TaftFederal judge, secretary of war2220
Woodrow WilsonPresident of Princeton, New Jersey governor610
Franklin RooseveltAssistant Navy secretary, governor of New York23
Dwight EisenhowerU.S. Army general, president of Columbia University87
John KennedyU.S. congressman and senator1114
Lyndon JohnsonU.S. congressman, senator and vice president1412
Richard NixonU.S. congressman, senator, vice president3234
Gerald FordU.S. congressman2624
Ronald ReaganActor, union leader, corporate spokesman, governor of California1711
Bill ClintonGovernor of Arkansas208
Barack Obama

Taking the Siena and APSA data together for this group, the average ranking is 14.25 and median is 12.75. In contrast to businessmen-turned presidents who, together, are in the lower third of presidents, the non-businessmen are squarely in the upper third. In fact, just one in seven of the businessman-turned presidents (Truman) appears in either the Siena or APSA top ten, five of the twelve non-businessmen do.
Trump has supreme confidence. He’s aggressive. He’s energetic. He’s highly intelligent. He’s not a creature of Washington and he’s in no one’s pocket. All this is an appealing elixir to many.
But what makes for ultimate presidential success and greatness? It’s based on much more than that. It’s based on numerous variables that swirl together over many years and over many evolving and often unexpected economic, social and geopolitical circumstances and cycles. Siena’s greatness rankings consider 20 different factors. Among them: the ability to empathize with those less fortunate (think FDR, LBJ and Clinton) and the ability to persuade with eloquence (think FDR, JFK and Reagan). The ability to compromise is also an important factor (Reagan, Clinton). That Trump appears to lack these qualities has been overlooked—but should not be discounted.

Some also have mistaken Trump’s steam-rolling, belittling tactics—which play well on the campaign trail—as a predictor of effective governance. It’s not. There are three branches of government here, power is shared, and his my-way-or-the-highway approach is the recipe for more gridlock. An outsider running on an anti-Washington meme (hardly new), President Trump would encounter a Congress that wouldn’t be in the least beholden to him, and he also doesn’t seem to understand that he couldn’t run the government like a CEO. Presidents have little control over the bureaucracy, with hiring and firing power over one-tenth of one percent of all federal employees (this should change, but it requires congressional approval, which won’t happen). History—and his own words—does not suggest that a Trump presidency, in the very unlikely event that it came to that, would be overly successful.

Lawyer, U.S. senator15



  1. I don't think Trump would be bothered by this at all. He is nothing if not self confident in his own abilities, and dubious of everyone else's. He would just say they were idiots, and continuous on his merry way.

  2. Barack Obama
    Lawyer, US Senator.

    2 year senator and a lame attorney.

    They did forget long tome community organizer.