Washington # 3? I know the history profs rankings put him high up, and I read your comments on the other thread about how he could've defined the position as a king, and I've heard that before, but is it really true?
We'd just fought a pretty long war to get rid of a King. We had no intention of reforming a Kingdom. Remember, the Constitution was our 2nd try at national governance. Our first were the Articles of Confederation, which turned out to so weaken the national government that it basically couldn't exist over time -- the very antithesis of a King and Kingdom.
While the Constitution moved slightly closer to a strong national government, the national government back then had only a tiny fraction of the powers that we today take for granted.
Could Washington really have said "I've been elected President, but I hereby pronounce myself King. I'm tearing up your Constitution, outlawing your Congress and from now on I plan to rule by royal decree" without the Patrick Henry's and Sam Adams's of the colonies going completely nuts and taking to the hills again?
Why did Buchanon suck? There were a lot of 19th century Presidents I didn't know much about and he was one of them. Was he part of that do-nothing bunch preceding the Civil War?
Even if you're not ready to forgive Nixon for Watergate, don't his Cold War accomplishments have to serve to offset Watergate enough to get him out of the bottom 3?
Washington used to be no.1 on a lot of lists when I was a kid. Nobody knew at the time what a president would actually do. A lot of countries have had constitutions but it didn't stop the leader from dissolving it and ruling as a dictator. Washington set the precedent that the congress would write the laws and the president could only stop them by vetoing them and being sustained. In other words he made the constitution real.
Buchanan said the south could leave the union although he was personally opposed. A real wimp.
Nixon was a crook. Should have gone to jail.
Over Watergate and his paranoia, #$%$, he balanced the ******* budget pal and plenty of other things. You need to go and research Nixon some more until you have a better answer.
Washington was a good man, he was very careful at being president. He did not involve himself (or us) between the French and the British. I am going to make a Washington thread and prove he is number 1!