President Trump has always been very vocal about his intelligence. On multiple occasions he has stated that he is "like a smart person" and that he has "one of the greatest memories of all time"! But just where exactly does Donald Trump rank among the living US Presidents in terms of intelligence? Although IQ tests and educational backgrounds are important in figuring out the mental acuity and sharpness of the Commander in Chief, there is perhaps no better barometer of intelligence than their performance in stewarding the country through tough economic and geopolitical challenges. Since this is obviously subjective, there is only one way to find out what this order really is! Rank this list in terms of how intelligent you think the six living current and former US Presidents are. (Although your ranking is your own, each ranking updates the average which everyone gets to see!)
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William Jefferson Clinton served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. The first President from the "Baby Boomer" generation, Bill Clinton was the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second term. Education: Georgetown University (BS), University College, Oxford, Yale University (JD) Performance in Office: Clinton proposed the first balanced budget in decades and reached a budget surplus. But in his second term he faced impeachment over his liaison with a White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Although he was acquitted by the Senate and has enjoyed favorable ratings in most post-presidential term polls, his term as US President continues to be controversial thanks to his wife Secretary Hillary Clinton's Presidential runs in recent years.
Barack Hussein Obama II served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017. He is the first African American to have served as president and because of his exceptional oratory skills, Obama is seen by many as the most inspirational President since Kennedy. However, although he was sworn in with very high expectations amid the great recession, his two terms were not as transformational as many of his supporters hoped for. Education: Occidental College (transferred), Columbia University (BA), Harvard University (JD) Performance in Office: President Obama's signature domestic policy accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, extended health insurance coverage to 20 million more Americans but was unpopular with Republicans. Nevertheless, his administration is credited with guiding the country through the great recession albeit through a slow recovery, bringing Osama Bin Laden to justice and rescuing the U.S. auto industry. Most people rate Obama highly for pursuing equal justice, but think his handling of international relations and his dealings with Congress was poor.
George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Prior to assuming the presidency, he was the 43rd Vice President of the United States (1981-1989) under President Reagan and the Director of Central Intelligence (1976–1977) during which he led the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He is the oldest living former U.S. President and Vice President. Education: Phillips Academy, Yale University (BA) Performance in Office: Bush guided the country through the end of the Cold War and led a coalition to liberate Kuwait after Saddam Hussein’s invasion. Like his son George W. Bush, the senior Bush is seen as one of the most interventionist presidents of modern times. He was widely perceived as a "pragmatic caretaker" president drawing out the Reagan Era, but one who lacked a long-term vision for the United States. His 1992 electoral defeat to Bill Clinton made him the first elected Republican president since Hoover in 1932 to lose a reelection bid.
James Earl Carter Jr. served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. Carter has remained active in public life during his post-presidency, and in 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the Carter Center. Education: Georgia Institute of Technology, United States Naval Academy (B.S.) Performance in Office: President Carter is regarded very highly for pursuing equal justice but is often criticized for his lack of clear and decisive leadership during times of national crisis. He is credited with developing a national energy policy to deal with power shortages, and for bringing Israel and Egypt together for the historic Camp David accords. But the Carter administration will forever be tied to the geopolitical setback of the Iran hostage crisis and economy struggling with stagnation.
George Walker Bush served as the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He is the eldest son of President George H. W. Bush and was the 46th Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000. Bush Jr. was elected president in 2000 after a close and controversial contest against Democratic rival Vice-President Al Gore that involved a recount in Florida. He became the fourth person in history to be elected president while receiving fewer popular votes than his opponent. Education: Phillips Academy, Yale University (BA), Harvard University (MBA) Performance in Office: Although President Bush was known for his folksy, gaffe-prone demeanor, his presidential term was dominated largely by the events of 9/11 and the ensuing "War on Terror" in Afghanistan and Iraq. His most controversial decision was the 2003 invasion of Iraq which is now widely regarded as an avoidable and unnecessary conflict. President Bush's incorrect belief that Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction has caused historians to rate him low in international relations, but he is still seen by many Republicans as a President who was focused on keeping the U.S. safe. His poor handling of the economic crisis during the Great Recession towards the end of his second term further cemented his administration's low approval ratings. But public opinion of Bush Jr. has improved following his Presidency, albeit primarily because of comparisons with President Trump.
Donald John Trump is the 45th and current President of the United States, in office since January 20, 2017. Before entering politics, he was a famous businessman, real-estate mogul and reality television personality based in New York City. Education: The Wharton School (B.S. in Econ.) Performance in Office: Ever since announcing his candidacy, Trump's election campaign and his subsequent Presidency has not been short of drama. President Trump has openly courted controversy through his heated rhetoric, primarily on his Twitter account which he uses to reach his base of unwavering supporters. It is often hard to decide whether Trump's messaging is some sort of premeditated tactic to enrage his opponents into disarray and energize his base, or is actually the wild and incoherent ramblings of someone who is not fit for the highest office in the land. Despite being almost a year in office, Trump is yet to accomplish any major legislative victory. Only time will tell whether Trump will win against his opponents in the media and his doubters in Congress. With the Russia Investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller implicating several Trump associates and looming large over the Presidency, will Trump be able to walk-the-walk and deliver on his promise to make "Make America Great Again"?
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