It's kind of like the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40. But instead of counting down the top 40 most popular songs in the country, it's a countdown of the top presidents in the history of the U.S.
C-SPAN announced their second historians survey of presidential leadership today. And much like Rick Dees would get Debbie Gibson or Rick Astley in the studio to help count down the top songs, a whole bunch of really smart historians got together to do the countdown - presidential style.
So, it's almost the same thing.
Let's count down the countdown
Number one? Much like WHAM! dominated the top spots back in the mid-80's, President Abraham Lincoln continues his dominance at #1.
He's so popular that the U.S. Mint released four new pennies this year to honor the former president. Sure, pennies are essentially worthless but it's the thought that counts. [If you want to see the new pennies, click here].
The number two spot? His face is everywhere. Especially since Congress passed that gigantoid stimulus package. Now there are 780 billion brand new pictures of George Washington being rolled out in the next few months.
What's in a name? A lot. If you were a president and your last name was Roosevelt, you scored big. Franklin Delano captures the third spot, while Teddy comes in at number four.
Wrapping up the top five, is the guy Sarah Palin discussed during her big time GOP convention speech. No, not Bill Ayers or Joe the Plumber. But Harry S. Truman. Remember, she called him a "haberdasher."
Moving up the charts
Just like the Weekly Top 40, there are the big chart busters. You know the songs which are moving the quickest.
In the presidential countdown, the biggest biggest chart climbers are Bill Clinton and Ulysses S. Grant. Grant moved up 10 spots (from the 2000 rankings) to 23 from 33. And Clinton moved from 21 to 15.
How does this happen?
Historian Richard Norton Smith explains, "Participants in the latest C-SPAN survey of presidential historians have boosted each man significantly higher than in the original survey conducted in 2000. All of which goes to show two things: the fluidity with which presidential reputations are judged, and the difficulty of assessing any president who has only just recently left office."
The bottom five? The cellar dwellers?
38. Warren Harding
39. William Henry Harrison
40. Franklin Pierce
41. Andrew Johnson
42. James Buchanan
It's not known whether any of the historians made any long distance dedications to each other. But if you'd like to read the entire presidential Top
40 42, click here.