President George H.W. Bush’s Place in Presidential History

No two President’s paths to the Presidency have been the same and save the founders who fought the Revolution, it's likely none had a more perilous path and life of service than our 41st President. But where does he stand among our 45 Presidents?  

President George H.W. Bush is remembered for “a thousand points of light” and exceptional foreign policy success. Not to take anything away from President Regan but it was on 41st's watch that the Berlin wall actually did come down. We all recall how exceptional his success was in conducting Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The most efficient and immediately effective war we’ve ever conducted. 

He’s also remembered less favorably for “reading his lips” as he promised no new taxes, only to violate that promise and bring about the challenge of Ross Perot which enabled Bill Clinton to defeat him.  

In a Presidential context, he’s one of a class of twelve Presidents, those who served one full term. Not less, not more. His Presidential contemporaries are: 

  • John Adams 
  • John Quincy Adams 
  • Martin Van Buren 
  • James K. Polk 
  • Franklin Pierce 
  • James Buchanan 
  • Rutherford B. Hayes 
  • Benjamin Harrison 
  • William Howard Taft 
  • Herbert Hoover 
  • Jimmy Carter

His record of achievement compares favorably to that group. Aside from founder John Adams, there’s a solid argument to be made that he was as effective of a one-term President as we’ve had. R.I.P. President George H.W. Bush.

Photo by: Al Bello/Getty Images

Brian Mudd

Brian Mudd

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