121 Responses

  1. ScytheNoire at |

    Woah, how does Gore over Bush not make the number one spot? Talk about missing the most obvious one, especially if one thinks Bush over Clinton should be on this list.

    Reply
    1. Ashish at |

      totally agree… Gore vs Bush should have been on top of the list….

      Reply
      1. yahp at |

        i was thinking the same thing

        Reply
    2. Dan at |

      Nail, meet the hammer… You hit it right on.

      Reply
    3. Toby at |

      Because obviously the author is a Republican.

      Reply
  2. Austin at |

    Wow… I had to check the web address to make sure this wasn't a FOXnews website… If this list leaned any further to the right my laptop would have tipped over.

    Reply
    1. Josh at |

      I have no political aspirations and limited knowledge, but this made me laugh.

      Reply
    2. Grahm at |

      lol. I couldn't have said it any better. This was the most bias top 10 list I have ever read.

      Reply
      1. Ebby at |

        I completely agree. This a Right wing biased list.

        Reply
        1. John Fisher at |

          Absolutely agree, Nixon, Really? Guy would have started world war 3.

          Reply
          1. Dan at |

            Yeah, but the election was VERY VERY tight. Nixon had been in congress and had spent 8 years as VP, Kennedy did lack experience (bay of pigs which lead directly to the Missile Crisis). The election EASILY could have gone the other way… Imagine Watergate in 1964, before the counter culture and anti war movement created a market for a cynical view of Washington. For all we know, Nixon would still be President (although it would be a reanimated head in a jar).

            Reply
        2. Jim C at |

          Really?

          Come on though, Clinton should have never of won…
          He was terrible and let Bin Laden escape which we know the consequences of this.

          Reply
          1. JoeJoe at |

            Ah, the old “Clinton let OBL go” lie. Debunked many thousands of times over a decade ago.

            Try google, if it gives too many millions of hits on “clinton let obl go lie debunked”, try Bing. They filter for you.

            Reply
    3. amanda at |

      I find it hard to believe that this highly-partial opinion piece was chosen as a list on this site.

      Reply
    4. TopTenz Master at |

      See my comment below. April 3, 2010 at 11:32 am

      This list is not partial.

      Reply
      1. Amber at |

        I have been enjoying this site as a new visitor for the past several days. However, after reading this list and the subsequent commentary I've decided not to return, nor will I recommend it to the people I know. The author purports to be objective but his personal political bias is clearer to the reader than the stated reasoning and reeks of hypocrisy. Even worse, the author's refutations in the commentary are childish and written without forethought or spellcheck. He makes no attempt to explain why he excluded Gore vs. Bush from even the tenth spot despite such a public clamor on this omission. A poor demonstration of journalism!

        Reply
        1. Tanya Bennett at |

          Hi Amber. I'm going to respond to this comment and give our TopTenzMaster a break (if you have read all of the comments you will know that this list has already given him a lot of grief).

          Many writers contribute to this site (we typically publish 5 lists a week), so the lists are from many different perspectives. At best, they ignite some lively discussion in the comments. At worst, they provoke nasty comments and personal attacks on the writer. While you may not agree with the writer's list, I'm sure you agree that he has the right to express his opinion.

          If you really wanted to hold this list to the standards of journalism, you would probably also agree that it is an opinion piece -it's not pretending to be news reporting and it is not an editorial either, because it is not a representation of any type of official opinion here at Toptenz.

          I don't see any "refutations in the commentary" from the actual writer of this list – not all of our writers respond to comments. Maybe he hasn't even read them. I do see a lot of comments from the site owner "TopTenzMaster" – he tends to stand up for his writers because he is a good guy.

          Reply
          1. TopTenz Master at |

            My fearless editor is correct. The author of this list does not read the comments and therefore does not respond to comments. He has, very wisely, decided to not get into a debate over the pure entertainment value his lists provide.

            And yes, I am a nice guy, which is why I asked Tanya to work with Toptenz.net. She is the muscle on the site. ;-)

            Reply
    5. Henry at |

      I totally agree, after reading a couple of these I was like "wait, these are all right-wingers" so I scroll down and I realize that EVERY one is like that.

      What a waste of a good list idea.

      Reply
    6. isa at |

      Seriously.

      Reply
    7. Dan at |

      You got that right…

      Reply
  3. Paul at |

    ScytheNoire, looking at Gore now and what he’s all about, I think the US should be thankful we had W.

    Reply
    1. Grahm at |

      Thankful we had W. !! You've got to be kidding me. If we had Gore, our planet might actually be surviving right now, instead of dying. When the earth goes to complete **** in the next 10 years, you'll be sorry we never had an environmentalist like gore in office. Learn to swim.

      Reply
      1. katefan at |

        I doubt Gore would have been able to pass any meaningful environmentalist legislation with a Republican controlled Congress and Senate. Heck, I am not certain he could have generated any meaningful environmentalist movement in his own party.

        Besides, moves made by the United States would also need to be mirrored by China and India if we are to have any impact on the environment. Since both countries are unlikely to do so and since we are so heavily in debt to China-meaning we have virtually no leverage-I doubt if that is going to happen any time soon.

        Bush made some serious blunders during his term and it would be interesting to see how Gore would have handled the 9/11 crisis. Would he have invaded Afghanistan? What steps would he have taken?

        Reply
        1. Bob at |

          I think your right, and i would also like to see how gore would have handled 9/11. But i think he might have gotten some green laws passed, because a man so devoted to the earth would try really hard and not give up, and in 4 years if he was determined the world would get a little bit better.

          Reply
          1. isa at |

            "in 4 years if he was determined the world would get a little bit better."

            And that is exactly the point. SOME action is better than absolutely none.

            Reply
        2. isa at |

          "Besides, moves made by the United States would also need to be mirrored by China and India if we are to have any impact on the environment."

          I hate statements like this. "Why bother doing anything good? No one else is gonna. Can't beat 'em, join 'em."

          WTF?

          Reply
  4. Paul at |

    Grahm, I think with a statement like that you have proven my point.

    By the way here is an example of Gore's Hypocrisy which is just the tip of the iceberg (pun intended)
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/house.asp

    Reply
    1. Bob at |

      Wow. Al gore is a hypocrite i will give you that, but that doesn’t mean AT ALL that he isn’t helping save the earth. Also one other thing. I don’t think Gore would have invaded a country in defiance to the UN. Bush may have been the worst president ever

      Reply
    2. Claude Isbell at |

      Paul, why don't you know what you're talking about before opening your mouth. That crap has been used for years. For anyone that doesn't know the whole story, Gore bought a place, and then had it fixed up with Solar Panels etc. It took a long time and a lot of money. The figures that are used in the article, are right after it was purchased, not after it was fixed up. Republicans spread that crap, to try and find brain surgeons like yourself to do their dirty work.

      Reply
      1. Paul at |

        Claude Isbell, I think this is what you are referring to. But come on a 10,000 sq ft house and that’s not even his only house.

        Reply
        1. Paul at |
          Reply
  5. Bazza at |

    lol wtf. this must be some kind of joke. right wingers.

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master at |

      This list is not biased. See my comment below: April 3, 2010 at 11:32 am

      Reply
      1. Josh at |

        Lol. To say this list is not biased is ridiculous.

        BTW, the 50s were a bad time period for a lot of people. Why on earth would we want the 60s to be more like the 50s. Why are you wishing away the civil rights movement? Sure, if you're a white guy you would have been better off, but any minority, women and gays would very much disagree with you.

        Reply
  6. a2425536 at |

    #10: You say Reagan would still have been next? When, in 1984? Ford would have presumably have run for reelection in 1980, leaving Reagan so old in '84 that I doubt he would have even run. In retrospect, it's too bad Ford didn't beat Carter; it would have spared us the disasters Reagan foisted on us, and that still affect us now.

    There are so many other things wrong with this list that I can't even bother getting started.

    Reply
    1. Don at |

      Ford would have been ineligible to run for president in 1980 as he was president from 1974-1980. Reelection would have put him in his 3rd term, meaning Reagan still would have gotten the GOP nod.

      Carter's a good man, a great intellectual, and he champions many great causes. However, he's been more effective since he left office. Carter was terribly ineffective while in office as evidenced by his landslide loss in that election. He oversaw one of the worst energy crises in US history and really flubbed the Iran Hostage crisis. I wouldn't be so quick to wish another four years of him over Reagan.

      Reply
      1. tim at |

        actually ford would have been elligible to run in 1980. The common misconception is that the prez is limited to two terms and while this is true it is only true because running for a third would mean he would have exceeded the maximum time allowed to serve as president, which is actually ten years. in a situation such as fords he actually could have run for that third term because evn with the third it would have been less than ten years.

        Reply
        1. tim at |

          small correction. everyting i said about ten years is correct but ford would have had to assumed the presidency on or after janury 20th 1975 to un in 1980…sorry

          Reply
      2. WistfulD at |

        I have to disagree with the flubbing of the Iran Hostage part. A structurally flawed helicopter blade flubbed that mission. From the mission desk back in Washington, Carter’s rescue attempt decisions were almost moment-for-moment the same as Obama’s decisions on the raid on Bin Laden’s compound. The only difference is that things turned out right for Obama (barely) while they turned out poorly for Carter. You can’t judge the correctness of the decision based on the outcome, only the reasonably expected outcome. Both of them took a serious risk; for one it turned out well, for the other it did not.

        Reply
  7. Paul at |

    Bob, if you are a football fan or a sports fan you know that just might be a case of Monday morning quarterbacking. It’s really easy to say what Gore would or would't have done. I just have a feeling that he would have (I hope) done the same thing that Bush did.. Or maybe he knew something that nobody else knew. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxG-HlslQAQ
    please watch this everybody.

    Reply
    1. Bob at |

      They didnt have weapons of mass destruction! Bush lied. Thousands died.

      Reply
      1. Paul at |

        Bob. please explain instead of just throwing out allegations. What are your sources?

        Reply
        1. Bob at |

          What are your sources that they had weapons of mass destruction? A crazy texan who shouldn't have won his first election?

          Reply
        2. Bob at |

          Iraq did have weapons before 1991 but the UN found and destroyed them. No weapons were found in when America invaded later

          Reply
  8. tony at |

    I hope this writer did not get paid for this cra— zy list based on notes found on fox news bathroom walls. Ford btw was a two timing con act who helped pass along the fake warren commission report then later let nixon walk free and save others from exposure. Bush Sr cheated and lied his way through Iran Contra and maybe even helped bullets reach JFKs head a bit faster. Gore off the list IS an interesting miss, and I will give the author the Teddy R one would certainly made some difference; but the country did not want to go to war back then; Wilson did what he could, and to blame Hitler on Wilson, well let's blame 9-11 on Bush Sr.

    Reply
  9. Rolo Tomasi at |

    Bush Sr. deserved a second term? You must either be very young or a die hard republican. Bush Sr. did nothing in his presidency to merit another four years. Economically he was a mitigated disaster. His economic policy was to sit on Reganomics for four years and watch the nation go into a recession. Remeber the Savings and Loan scandal?? Remember the "Read my Lips" speech and then he raised taxes anyway. What about an ill fated decision to invade Iraq. Who you could say had reasons to attack Kuwait. Not to mention he threw up on the Minister of Japan.

    Reply
  10. Stephanie at |

    So what I gather from this list is every time a Democrat won it really should have been a Republican. Wow really captivating.

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master at |

      Ulysses Grant was a republican. And he won twice with his Democratic opponent being chosen by the writer as the man who should have won.

      Warren Harding was a Republican who was listed as President who should have lost.

      Rutherford B. Hayes was a Republican who was listed as President who should have lost.

      So 4 out of 10 show the candidate running against the Republican should have won. Hardly biased.

      So all the commentors who are saying this list is tilted, you are wrong and a little research would proven so. This list shows equally that both parties may have made mistakes in choosing their candidate.

      Reply
      1. YogiBarrister at |

        TopTenz, it's not a worthless and biased list because he's bashing only Democrats, he's bashing all of the modern progressive presidents. This kind of stupidity is taking a great toll on our nation right now.

        You know what else is terrible about this tripe, the title and introduction. Does the writer assume we are the only country that has presidential elections? He never even told the readers that he is an American. This is twatwafflery drenched in high-fructose corn syrup.

        BTW Horace Greeley was possibly the least qualified person ever to almost win the US presidency.

        Reply
        1. YogiBarrister at |

          I know Horace Greeley. I went to Horace Greeley High School. There's a statue of Horace Greeley on the exit ramp to my hometown, and you Top Tenz Master, are no Horace Greeley. You published an article that makes the reader dumber and more angry. Congratulations! I hope you get a million hits.

          Reply
          1. TopTenz Master at |

            When did I compare myself to Horace Greeley? Sometimes your comments are as if you are having conversations in your head and only you hear the voice. And thanks, we get just about 1,000,000 visitors every month.

            Reply
          2. YogiBarrister at |

            Top Tenz Master, that was a reference to a VP debate between Lloyd Benson and eventual president in the listmaker's world, Dan Quayle. Quale compared himself to JFK, #7, and Benson unloaded on him, "I knew John F. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy was a friend of mine, and you Sir, are no John F. Kennedy" He got a standing ovation. I did go to Horace Greeley High School, and there is a statue of him in town. You are forgiven for not getting the reference, you're young and probably not American.

            Reply
          3. TopTenz Master at |

            Yogi, yes I'm American. Yes, I understood the reference but don't agree that it is applicable here. I believe it was quite a stretch. But has usual you are always willing to hurl insults at anyone who comments back to you. And you have made another list more about you than about the list.

            I am growing weary of you, as I wrote below, please feel free to stop visiting a site you obviously don't like and and site owner you can't stand.

            This is the end of this mini-flame war. You have wasted enough of my time and my readers' time. Please do not post on this list unless you have new insight into this list and not on our back and forth. It is over. My site, my rules.

            Reply
          4. WistfulD at |

            Yeah, congrats on that hit count. Given that I was sent here by a false advertising spambot, I’m sure that means that people genuinely agree with your point of view and that you deserve your ad revenue as opposed to conning people into visiting your site.

            Reply
      2. Bob at |

        Something all those republicans have in common is that they were republicans before the republicans were recognizable to the GOP today. Guess what Lincoln was a republican, but again if he was around today he would have been a hard core Liberal. One other example that in to kill a mockingbird the teacher that came from the north was republican, but had very liberal views, while Scout and most of the other southerners were democrats but had very modern day republican view. Its a classic GOP trick to try to say that great presidents like lincoln were republican, when really that was just a name

        Reply
      3. Stephanie at |

        Because this list mentions four Democrats from before the party's major ideological shift, we should all be happy with that? The issue people take is the fact that this list suggests almost every Dem. Pres. from the last fifty years should have lost.

        I digress. Interesting list none-the-less, and I thoroughly enjoy your site.

        Reply
        1. TopTenz Master at |

          Thanks, Stephanie. Glad you found it interesting and not insulting.

          Reply
        2. Bob at |

          No, i dont think you understand. What i'm saying is that someone says that a lot of democrats won, but i was pointing out they were all before the ideological switch

          Reply
  11. Bluvida at |

    Leaving off Gore over Bush renders the entire list suspect.

    And when it comes to Cuba remember that Castro was able to over throw Batista after landing with a surviving force of only sixteen men. If the Cuban people had really wanted to be rid of Castro, they would be rid of Castro.

    Reply
  12. YogiBarrister at |

    Thanks for the Teabagger's Manifesto Jeff. I truly wish you were one of the 50% of Americans who don't vote. You wonder why the rest of the civilized world has such contempt for the US, it's because of you man! Stop writing about politics, you are damaging your soul.

    Reply
    1. Claude Isbell at |

      Right on. Also, I love how the "Top Tenz Master" runs to the defense of all the "Teabaggers", and "Palinites", and then says, "There is no agenda here."

      Reply
      1. TopTenz Master at |

        I have to keep laughing that anyone would think I would have an agenda. I am the least politically active person I know and I have teenage kids. I had to look up all the candidates just to find out who was a democrat and who was a republican and who was a whig. You give me and this site far too much credit.

        I am still curious to know what my agenda could be and what you think this list could really influence. Please tell me. I am dying to know. Otherwise, the only agenda on this site is the over zealous commentors who feel this list is a direct insult to them. Honestly, it is for fun. I welcome a list that leans to the left if you feel it is something you want to write. If it is good, I'll even pay for it.

        Any takers? There usually isn't.

        Reply
        1. Josh at |

          If I were you, I'd avoid partisan politics in these lists unless you want to loose a large number of readers. People come to these sites to be entertained, not indoctrinated.

          Reply
          1. TopTenz Master at |

            Did this list indoctrinate you? Can anyone who read this list say they were indoctrinated or swayed or mind-controlled or influenced in any way?

            If anything, the commentors entrenched themselves in their current views even further….or they took this list a little less serious and read some thoughts by another human being who has biases as we all do. We are human, it is unavoidable. What if all 10 choices were favoring Democrats or Whigs or the Green Party or Independents. Someone will always be upset. It is, again, unavoidable when dealing with many subjects, moreso with politics.

            So your advice is to stay away from partisan politics? I don't see the list that way and probably most of the readers would agree. Most of the commentors are complaining and so the squeaky wheel gets the grease, as here I am commenting back to you.

            If you feel I am wrong, you have to admit, this site isn't that politically charged. Over 300 lists and probably less than 5 have any serious debates going on and most of those are religious.

            Reply
          2. WistfulD at |

            Nope. I doubt any readers would agree.

            Reply
        2. ________ at |

          If you had to look up all the candidates to simply know which party they belonged to, why do you think you can legitimately comment on who "should have" won?

          Reply
          1. TopTenz Master at |

            I didn't write this list and didn't tell anyone if this list is right or wrong. I defended posting this list and nothing more. Don't read more into it than that. It's just a list written for fun as I have said many, many times.

            Reply
  13. YogiBarrister at |

    "only to lose to a draft evader "
    Huh? He didn't evade the draft. He got a deferment. This list is punch-in-the-face.

    Reply
  14. Paul at |

    As TopTenz Master points out this list shows prety much equally that both parties may have made mistakes in choosing their candidate. Yet some people here had a knee jerk reaction and jumped on the band wagon without doing any research. I guess YogiBarrister dosn't want anybody to vote unless you agree with him. I guess then he would call it a "civilized world".

    Reply
    1. Claude Isbell at |

      What are you talking about, the Republicans that are listed, are so obvious. They're "Token" entries, so as to not look too ridiculous. Lipton baby!

      Reply
      1. TopTenz Master at |

        A paranoid mind reads what it wants. What agenda could possibly be here? What could this list possibly change in our world. It is a simple fantasy list for pure entertainment. Do you really think this will change anyone's political views? All this list has done has given a few town criers a pulpit from which to yell. Nothing more.

        But hey, I love it. Please keep commenting, but keep it respectful, and keep visiting.

        Reply
    2. YogiBarrister at |

      Paul, what you don't realize is that Top Tenz Master censors my comments. He should have deleted my 6:05 AM post entrely. Not just the last word, which was a common misspelling of a perfectly decent synonym for stupid. Oh wait, that was the word. Top Tenz Master and Paul are being dishonest when they deny that there's an extreme political bias in this list

      Reply
      1. TopTenz Master at |

        I always edit out insults and name-calling. We are all to sophisticated for that, I'm sure you will agree. Believe me, I have removed quite a few insulting names and slurs directed at you. And you are welcome.

        Keep it clean and keep it respectful and you can comment.

        Reply
        1. YogiBarrister at |

          Top Tenz Master, I didn't insult a person, I criticized an internet article. "Punch-in-the-face-stupid" doesn't mean I want to punch the writer in the face or think he's stupid. It can either mean, I want to punch the list in the face because it's so stupid (yes, I know, the list doesn't actually have a face), or it's such a stupid list, I felt like I got punched in the face after reading it. Do you grasp the difference?

          Another time I criticized a list about literary detectives, because it didn't include C.August Dupin or even mention the author who invented the genre. It wasn't the listmaker's prerogative to omit that important bit of information, not if she wants to be taken seriously as a journalist. BTW I think she's even from Maryland, the birthplace of Edgar Allan Poe. You thought you were defending her by deleting my criticism of her product, when in fact you did her a disservice. You aren't a very savvy editor, in my not-so-humble opinion.

          Reply
          1. TopTenz Master at |

            Yes, correct. Thank you. I'm not an editor. I'm a guy who likes top 10 lists. That is it. Quit making me out to be more than that.

            Just like you are a person who trolls around commenting endlessly, trying to belittle everyone who disagrees with you. That is who you are.

            This site was a lot more fun until you showed up. I noticed early on someone commented that you were ruining another list site and they were upset you had come here. I see why now.

            I don't understand your need to be disliked.

            The writer you refer to lives in England, and you did her the disservice as she and I discussed.

            And please feel free to leave this site and never come back. You seem to find so many lists are insulting or lacking in some way or just plain "stoopid" and you obviously don't like me or respect me, having called me a liar, a poor editor, and lacking in intelligence. I don't see why you continue to visit. You have my permission to stop.

            Reply
  15. Bill Hicks at |

    10. Reagan would have won in 1980 after another Republican president was tarred with the Iranian hostage crisis and late 70s oil shocks? Not likely.

    9. Clay over Polk a GOOD thing? The Whig Party (including Abraham Lincoln) was opposed to the Mexican War, which brought us California, Arizona and New Mexico. Most Whigs also opposed Texas annexation. The country would be a LOT smaller today had Clay won.

    8. Bush was an economic ignoramus, just like his idiot son. Also hard to imagine that a Republican President could have convince the then-Democratic majority to go along with NAFTA, which really fueled the late 90s boom.

    7. Great…so Watergate could have happened 10 years earlier.

    6. Greely was a utter non-entity.

    5, 4 and 3. None of these would have changed much either way.

    2. I can actually see this one.

    1. Getting involved in World War 1 was one of the worst moves America ever made. It started the idea that America could save the world, which is utterly destroying us today. Doing so a year or two earlier under TR would have compounded that mistake. Hitler rose to power due to Germany's DEFEAT. The timing would have made no difference.

    Yeah, and where the heck is Gore over Bush? That should be number 1.

    Reply
  16. Paul at |

    Here are green hypocrisy’s top 10 poster children for 2007.

    1. Al Gore’s Inconvenient Lifestyle. While the former veep and nouveau-$100 millionaire jets around the world squawking about the “planet having a fever” and demanding that we all lower our standard of living, his own personal electricity use is 20 times the national average, including an indoor pool costing $500/month to heat.

    Reply
    1. Bob at |

      What the hell do you have against Al Gore

      Reply
    2. JoeJoe at |

      In the world of republican “logic”, a politician has to wear a hair shirt to care about the poor.

      That must be why they only care about, and pass laws to help, the billionaires. It is the same reason they hate the Middle Class so much, as well as the poor class and the upper-middle class.

      Reply
  17. Kennypo65 at |

    It doesn't matter who is in the white house. If you are "middle class"(defined as paying most of the taxes and doing all of the work) you are hosed.

    Reply
  18. Dan at |

    You really should leave out politics and religion out of your site. Really a very bad decision to make a list like this. I'm not even American and I really expected to see Gore-Bush topping the list!!!

    Reply
  19. 5minutes at |

    I knew the Gorons would be out…

    Gore shouldn't have won in 2000. He lost fair and square in a race that was ultimately a grade on the Clinton Administration (result: average). Gore had none of Clinton's charisma and none of Bush's good-old-boy charm (bear with me here, folks). He talked about lock-boxes and played a game of winning the popular vote…

    And then Florida went to Bush by a few hundred votes. And liberals were in a tizzy… obviously, there had to be corruption or someone handing the Presidency to Bush!

    But in the end, Bush won according to the letter of the law and had a fairly average Presidency for his first 5-6 years. By the end, tho, he tanked. He mismanaged the 2 wars he started and allowed Keynesian economics to drive us toward the brink. In 2008, McCain (a far more experienced candidate with actual experience in keeping a balanced budget) got his butt whooped by an inexperienced socialist cocaine-snorter from Illinois who ran on "change" – in a referendum on the Bush Presidency (grade: below average).

    The trick is that Obama has continued – if not expanded – many of Bush's worst policies, and has shown his utter inability to comprehend basic concepts like "you can't spend money you don't have". He passed healthcare… but no one knows how he's going to pay for it (hint: it's "you") and when the economy re-tanks again in 2011 (and it will), he'll have to come up with all new excuses as to why it's Bush's fault. And he'll be a 1-term President.

    Heck – by the time 2012 rolls around, the country would probably elect Bush a third time if they could.

    Reply
    1. Bob at |

      I have to say that i don't agree with you on some of this stuff like us re-electing bush, or that obama snorts cocaine, but you said this much better than paul did.

      Reply
      1. 5minutes at |

        Actually, Obama admitted to snorting coke in his youth, back in 2007 (ironically, Bush's alleged cocaine use came directly from a guy who served time in prison, claimed to have written an official James Bond novel that ended up being just another fanfic, and committed suicide when the cops were on the way to his hotel to arrest him for fraud – again).

        Reply
        1. Josh at |

          You sound really confused calling Obama a socialist while, at the same time supporting GW who implemented one of the largest increases in government size and spending (the dept of homeland security) and also passed legislation that took away the constitutional rights of Americans (Patriot Act).

          That's not even mentioning all the lives lost in the various wars he led us into with very little result.

          Reply
  20. Jimmy at |

    Shame, Mr. Danellek, shame.

    Reply
  21. Doc at |

    Wrong on Bush over Clinton.

    Wrong on Nixon over Kennedy

    Wrong on Clay over Polk (Polk set out only to accomplish 4 goals in his term (he made a single term pledge) Polk accomplished all four. Now, Clay would've been a great President had the Whigs nominated him in 1840, but Polk is the ONLY President to accomplish every single thing he promised.

    Should've added Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon. Humphrey had already pledged to end the Vietnam War during his term and was a far more honest, better man than Nixon.

    Should've been Gore over Bush. But then, I detect that you probably lean Republican based on your picks.

    You could also make a strong case for Adlai Stevenson over Eisenhower in 1956. Ike had been suffering medically and his second term saw a minor (by today's terms) recession. Stevenson was in better health and probably would've made a decent President.

    Definately agree with Cox over Harding. That should be number one based on the list you have.

    Reply
    1. Marsha at |

      I agree with your picks!

      Reply
    2. zak at |

      Ack, no Politics of Joy for me thanks. I’ll just stick to imagining what might’ve been if RFK’s brains hadn’t been blown out.

      Reply
      1. WistfulD at |

        Ugh! You pick arbitrary choices by speachwriters over substantive policy issues? Really?

        Reply
  22. Marsha at |

    Wow this is the worst list that I can think of. The only ones that I agree with are that Grant should never have been president much less for two terms. They forgot about Buchanan and George. W. (2000 election) and contradicted themselves by saying that Teddy Roosevelt would not have waited 2 years to get into WWI, but would have perused an isolationist policy afterward. I guess I am biased since Wilson was my favorite president.

    Reply
  23. Jake at |

    This was a pretty fair article. The republican/democrat divide today is not the same as it was one hundred years ago. It wasn't Liberal/Conservative–that started taking shape in the early 20th century, so let's get that straight.

    The lack of Bush/Gore is understandable. Bush was a pretty good leader for about six years. Gore simply wasn't a great candidate. There were other democrats that probably were a better choice, but I digress… onto the list!

    10 – You're right on here. Carter just wasn't a great leader. Would he make a good advisor? Probably yes. President? Not really.

    9 – Don't know enough about them.

    8 – Agree–sorta. Bush certainly did a good job, he just didn't have the charisma that the job required. Maybe Clinton wasn't the best choice, but when he saw a good option (ie Initiatives in Congress) , he was able to get the country behind it, and we shouldn't forget that. I know Clinton had his faults (yikes) and I think Bush would have been better–but–Clinton was horrible.

    7 – yes/no. They both had their faults and virtues in equal measure. The Watergate incident is over-hyped like the Lewinsky scandal and I do think Nixon would have been pretty good.

    6 – Agreed.

    5- Yup.

    4 – Don't know enough about.

    3 -One president I would like to forget.

    2- I think the both were a little out there.

    1- Yes

    All in all, good list! Keep it up! It was fun to read.

    Reply
  24. Chris at |

    As I share the alma mater of Transylvania University with Henry Clay, i'm aware of a lot his accomplishments and I can certainly attest to this one. Our country would certainly have been a much better place had "The Great Compromiser" won.

    As to the rest of this garbage, hey, why not just list every elected democrat for the past 60 years. Jeff, you left LBJ and Barack Obama out of your worthless piece of politcal hackery thinly veiled as meaningful historical commentary. It's almost like you added the pre-WWII presidents in there just to legitimize your clearly biased opinions on modern politics.

    HOW CAN YOU LIST HAYES AND NOT W? Oh, that's right, because he wasn't ELECTED; he was illegally and unconstitutionally APPOINTED by the U.S. Supreme court.

    Reply
  25. Dixon at |

    Love the list and the comments! Great to see the interaction and raging anger out there!

    In terms of Nixon/JFK, Nixon probably should have won because he got more votes…it was only a lot of tomfoolery in Illinois and Chicago in particular that ended up sending that state to JFK, making him the prez. Nixon, however, decided not to make an issue of it and tear the country apart. He got his turn, and we saw what happened, didn't we?

    In terms of Al Gore and the "we're all gonna drown" comments, let's just say the jury remains out on that, shall we? I'd like to see some REAL data, not the stuff they've been making up and fudging for decades before I form an opinion…

    Reply
    1. Chris at |

      Here's some real data:

      http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/01/19/eco….

      82% of surveyed SCIENTISTS agree that humans have contributed to the warming of the earth.

      Since you are obviously a highly trained climate scientist, your opinion is extremely valuable to the climate change discussion. Oh, you're not a scientist?

      Do you drive through your bank to ask the teller why your car engine is making a funny noise?

      Would you got visit the butcher to find out why you've been coughing up green mucus?

      Do you ask your pharmacist for investment advice?

      I'm going to go ahead and assume your answer to these three rhetorical questions is 'HELL, NO." So then why do you continually refuse to accept the conclusions of scientists who are trained to collect and analyze scientific data?

      Furthermore, do you really want to wait until the jury comes back to find out? Will your children and grandchildren thank you for your skepticism? I doubt they will.

      Reply
  26. cool guy at |

    This list was a great read and you should write more like it. I personally love politics even though i disagree with most of your choices.

    Without Polk we wouldnt have admitted texas as a state (Clay was against it due to the slave question), so we wouldnt have gone to war with Mexico and would be missing half of our country. Though, it could easily be argued that war should not be used as an instrument of foreign policy.

    The Soviet Union was literally going to go to war with us if we invaded Cuba, so having Nixon in office might have lead to WWIII, which would have been worse than the bay of pigs invasion. Plus, Kennedy handled the Cuban missile crisis well, and Nixon probably gone with the bombing of missile site option, which once again the soviets would have gone to war over.

    "After the eight years of turmoil created by the Wilson administration" I assume that you mean WWI which was clearly not his fault. And saying that Teddy would have intervened in WWI and then pursued an isolationist policy doesnt make since. He probably agreed to the harsh conditions put on Germany which was the cause of WWI. Still like Roosevelt due to his liberal domestic policies.

    Reply
  27. KLEB at |

    This is biased! Its true. You can deny it all you want but seriously, how is it almost everyone is right winged! *sigh* Be equal here on top ten. Gore would of been the best ever! Bush over Clinton, you have to be kidding me! You seriously have some issues top ten for getting this posted! this almost make me not want to come back to this site!

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master at |

      I don't choose the lists, people send them in and I publish them if they are interesting and well written. This list fits those criteria. I have asked many times in this post, please write a list to balance the scales if you feel this list is right-handed. No one seems to care enough to write it, only to post how much they dislike this list. Will you be the first one to answer the call? If it is well done I'll pay $15. If it is really well done, I'll pay more.

      Reply
  28. garrett staats at |

    "What about an ill fated decision to invade Iraq. Who you could say had reasons to attack Kuwait"

    I almost choked on my tongue. Cmon now, the liberals are really coming out of the woodwork and starting to get nonsensical here.

    Reply
  29. Will Trame at |

    It's hard to fathom what Gore and Kerry presidencies would have been like had these two won; it's always easy to second guess in retrospect. However, I believe that George W. Bush was not fit to be president once, let alone twice. Had Bush…and particularly Cheney….never gotten into office, the odds are the Iraq War would have been avoided. Bush struck me as wanting to invade Iraq since he set foot in the White House. It's bitterly ironic that the two men who initiated the Iraq debacle were both Vietnam era draft evaders. After all, GWB only went into the Guard to avoid the Nam-era draft. And, if 9/11 was an inside job to gain the leverage to go into Iraq…which I hope is NOT the case….there is a special place in hell for those who orchestrated such.

    Reply
  30. Dar at |

    So Nixon would have been better than Kennedy because he'd have been even more willing to violate another country's sovereignty and commit aggression?!?!

    Also, on `1992, there is no question that it is Ross Perot who should have won, not Bush or Clinton.

    And Carter gets a bum rap.

    Reply
  31. Oldtimer at |

    Interesting list. I was honestly surprised not to see Andrew Jackson (1824), Stephen Douglas (1860), Charles Evans Hughes (1916) or Thomas Dewey (1948) crack the list (and yes, Al Gore in 2000 also).

    The "right-wing bias" claims are incredibly specious. In the seven Democrat vs. Republican elections featured in this list of ten elections, there were four hypothetical Democratic victories to three for Republicans. For starters, the Republican "victories" mentioned were by-and-large legitimized by the "single" thing that lost each of those elections. (Bush lost an election he should have cruised through mostly because of the "read my lips" crow Clinton made him eat in ads all autumn. Kennedy won through well-documented vote fraud and Nixon's five-o-clock shadow on the televised debates. Ford would almost certainly have soundly beaten Carter had he not pardoned Nixon.) Grant was enormously popular. Wilson (and by extension his party) enormously UNpopular. I expected Tilden over Hayes to be #1 on this list. Gore over Bush should certainly have made the top five (though Bush over Clinton was a stronger call).

    It would be very interesting to me to see a list like this that included primary opponents. Very often, in the primaries or the nominating conventions, the leading candidate (or candidates) were passed over for compromise choices who went on to win or lose in the general. Parties often failed to nominate their perfunctory leaders when the opportunity arose because of regional or ideological divisions within the party. Had the Deep South been willing to compromise in 1860, Stephen Douglas almost certainly would have defeated Lincoln for the grand prize. The Whigs' strategy of regional candidates in 1836 didn't pay off, but why Harrison was the candidate for years later (when he won) rather than Clay is unfathomable to me. James Blaine was the GOP leader for two decades but only gained the nomination once. Robert Taft for nearly as long, never gained the party's nod. FDR nudged out Al Smith for control of the party (and it's nomination) in '32. By "rights," Hillary should have been her party's nominee in '08. The list goes on.

    One of the things anyone reading this list should be able to agree on is how much fun history's "what ifs" can be.

    Reply
    1. JoeJoe at |

      You gotta be kidding! I love how you expound on the details of long-ago politics but ignore the historical fact that the Democratic and republican party “changed places” in the early decades of the 20th century. The Dems used to be the party that favored conservative causes, and the republican was the one championing progressive causes (to simplify).

      This list was horribly tilted to the right, just like elections & the Overton Window has been in America for the last few decades. And look at the present situation in America. Horrible. That is what you get when you turn to the right wing.

      Reply
  32. Jan at |

    I can't help but laugh my head off at all these comments. People need to calm down and respect each other's opinions. The comment section is a place for you to say what you think should have been included or left off the list, not to get in stupid arguments that aren't going to change anyone's political views on anything.

    Remember, arguing on the Internet it like the special olympics. Even if you win, you're still "special."

    Reply
  33. Dennis at |

    Wait, not only is this the most right winged list i have ever read about anything, ever. Where the hell is Gore V Bush? i mean not only is that obvious, its probably the most controversial due to the Florida incident and when fox news was like "Gore has won" then ten minuets later was like. "Bush has won."

    Seriously Nixon over Kennedy? what are you like some sort of gigantic right winged super robot built in some sort of government lab? You really think Nixon was a good president?

    Reply
  34. U.N. Owens at |

    I went into this list ready to keep an open mind and consider the points given, but there's little doubt in my mind that it's biased (this time towards the conservatives). Clinton is given no credit for his decidedly capable economic handling (the first arguements made against him should be geared toward his foreign policies), while the contry's justified discontent with Bush's raising taxes after promising not to isn't mentioned (though that was more the backlash from Reagan's era in which the government was forced to put money into the stock market to prevent another depression). Meanwhile, Bush vs. Gore isn't even on the list, even though the era that that started ended with three wars, a huge national dept, and a recession (not to mention Bush didn't get the popular vote in the first place).

    In fact, the only election in which the shift to the conservative is called a bad choice is when one of the undeniably worst presidents of all time, Harding, was elected. And even then, the list states that it was the man, not the policies, that failed, suggesting that Roosevelt could have been just as easily blamed for the depression, when the "laissez-faire" policies that started with Harding and continued with his two successors are almost always cited as a big part of what allowed the depression in the first place.

    Reply
  35. Brandon at |

    God, what a horrible list. And what about the “bonus trivia” at the bottom?

    “one (George W. Bush) having served in the Air Force (Texas Air National Guard, to be precise).”

    “To be precise” the Air National Guard is not the Air Force.

    If this list leaned any more right my laptop would topple over.

    Reply
  36. Chris S. at |

    Grant was “in over his head as President” – true enough. But then you say a friggin’ newspaper publisher who’d never held public office was more qualified?

    Reply
  37. jackdaniels63 at |

    Yea biased list…..cey me a river Libtards.

    Reply
  38. James at |

    Im glad the gore VS bush isnt on here as that would be one of the worst picks ever. I agree with just about all these although i think mccain shouldve beat barack. Yeah im right wing so? Less goverment the damn better

    Reply
  39. Brandon at |

    No Barry Goldwater REALLY? WOOOOOOOOOOOW Read up on him, I would probably put Goldwater 3rd maybe even second

    Reply
    1. Dan at |

      seconded.

      Reply
  40. Andy at |

    If a frog had wings it wouldn’t bump it’s ass when it hops

    Reply
  41. Eyeless Dog Pawless Dog Loveless Dog at |

    wow… just wow…

    “It’s hard to imagine him standing idly by for two years while war raged in Europe as Wilson did without throwing America’s weight in against the Kaiser, probably ending the conflict a couple of years early and saving the world from having to fight Germany again twenty years later.”

    Imperialism at its very best

    You run this site TopTenzMaster?
    I can really see the kind of human being you must be
    sad

    Reply
  42. ElBruce at |

    So basically you’re saying that Republicans should always win, and it’s bad whenever they don’t. Consider me unimpressed.

    Reply
  43. Dragonaut at |

    If this list had picked Democrats over Republicans, the same people jeering and moaning would be sucking up the bandwidth yelling about how awesome the list was. There are no more butthurt people on this earth than liberals who have their worldview challenged. You leftists have about a million other sites to go to that will affirm your corrosive political views, so why not take your awesome pageviews there and hang with the rest of the hivemind thinkers?

    Reply
  44. Spyderlegs at |

    Thanks for posting this list, I know it is old but I wanted to comment. There is always a few “what abouts” but the
    limit is 10 so go figure. I found it very thought provoking. Every election brings about discussing what if …
    The key question for the U.S. and the world really is “what if Obama had won again in 2012″.

    Reply
  45. John G. at |

    The great joke here is that everyone thinks he chose Republicans. Guess what? James Cox, Samuel Tilden, Horatio Seymour, and Horace Greeley are all Democrats.

    Reply
  46. wistfulD at |

    ” How Nixon would have dealt with Vietnam in its infancy, civil rights, and the space program remains a great unknown of course, but it definitely would have been an interesting time that might well have transformed the sixties into something more closely resembling…well, the fifties”

    And in some bizarre sociopath’s twisted nightmare this is supposed to be a good thing? WTF?!

    Reply
  47. Brad at |

    Thank you for posting this list! As someone mentioned earlier, these sorts of things bring to mind the “what ifs” of history; always fun for those of us who teach it.

    Sadly, the majority of the comments are rants from people – as Dragonaut aptly stated – “who have their worldview challenged.” I didn’t see any of these malcontents take TopTenzMaster up on his offer of crafting an alternative list. The irony is that these tantrums are in protest of a relatively centrist list. I shudder to think of the potential seizures taking place at keyboards around the world if this list had been half as partisan as its critics suppose it to be.

    Inversely, I truly appreciate the legitimate attempts by more thoughtful individuals to address the content of the article in a substantive way and advance the dialogue in a more constructive manner.

    Reading through the author’s list, I think it is important to remember that Mr. Danelek did not derive a list of elections which might easily have gone the other way (although to be sure some that is certainly an attribute of some of his selections). Rather, as stated above, it is a list of electoral losers who “would probably have made a better president than the victor did.” My thoughts on the top ten, therefore, are in light of that consideration.

    10. Ford over Carter. In the nearly forty years since he took the oath of office, no one has ever asserted that Gerald Ford was a great president. However, many of us who lived through the Carter years consider Peanut Jimmy the biggest failure in the White House of our lifetimes. Extending the Ford administration through January 20, 1981 may not have greatly impacted the economy or the diminishment of the executive branch which occurred in the mid-to-late 1970’s, but we would have more aggressively opposed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (rather than ineffectually boycotting the 1980 Olympics), supported the Shah of Iran (possibly thwarting the 1979 Iranian Revolution), and avoided malaise of the Carter years.

    9. Clay over Polk. While Henry Clay was a great American and it is astonishing that he was never elected to the presidency between 1824-1848, James K. Polk (also a former Speaker of the House) did not lack experience. Tyler had all but completed the annexation of Texas (which Clay opposed in the election), so that likely would not have changed, but the Mexican War and our subsequent acquisition of the Southwest, California, Oregon, etc. may have turned out quite differently. Of course, without new territory to quibble over, the Missouri Compromise may well have been upheld decades longer, possibly avoiding the Civil War. Personally, I think Polk was a good president and I don’t see a Clay administration accomplishing more than Polk did.

    8. Bush over Clinton. A no-brainer for a list like this. Clinton’s first-term successes (NAFTA, for example) were Bush initiatives. Contrary to what at least one commenter stated, Bush did not continue the Reagan economic policies; he caved to the Democrat-controlled Congress and raised taxes. The biggest difference between what actually happened and a second Bush term, however, is clearly that the Republican Revolution of 1994 would not have occured under a Republican administration. That and the near-certainty that the governor of Arkansas would be pushed aside by more prominent contenders for the 1996 Democratic nomination (Mario Cuomo most likely).

    7. Nixon over Kennedy. Intriguing possibility given that Nixon likely did “win” the 1960 election. (Al Gore should have taken a page from Nixon’s playbook rather than disgrace himself and divide the nation as he did in 2000). Nixon would certainly have (at least) prevented the Cuban missile buildup in the first place or (at best) assisted Cuban liberators in overthrowing Castro. The space race would not have been a national priority, but Nixon likely would have worked towards (if not prioritized) improving the federal response towards race relations. We’d certainly have been spared the grotesquely inaccurate Camelot mythos which so pervades the Baby Boom generation.

    6. Greeley over Grant. President Grant was enormously popular and Greeley died before the votes could even be counted so there is no “what if” in the realm of possibility where a Greeley win would result in a Greeley presidency. (In fact, it may have precipitated a constitutional crisis.) Far more interesting, and within the realm of possibility, would be the election of the man whom Greeley defeated for the Liberal Republican nomination, Charles Francis Adams (son and grandson of the presidents). Adams had been a U.S. Congressman, was instrumental as ambassador to Great Britain in keeping that country from recognizing the Confederacy during the Civil War, and had turned down the presidency of Harvard just a few years earlier. An Adams presidency would have seen an end to Reconstruction and civil service reform a few years earlier than either actually occurred.

    5. Seymour over Grant. It’s easy to pick on Grant, but in many respects he was far from a failure as president. The corruption for which his administration has been roundly condemned was no more than that of more than a few of his successors, including the current administration. (Credit Mobilier, for example, took place during prior administrations.) Seymour, though, had a wealth of executive experience, a record of defending the constitution and seeking conciliation. He had turned down numerous offers for high office which would appeal to the vanity or ambition of others. A Seymour presidency may well have done more to erase the ill will between North and South than any other individual’s election in the aftermath of the war. Missed opportunity here.

    4. Tilden over Hayes. A Tilden presidency may have seen a wonderful reformation of federal corruption and, possibly, a better approach to the Indian problem out West. Tilden’s party, however, agreed to Hayes’ election in exchange for the withdrawal of federal troops from Southern soil which is ironic as a Tilden presidency could almost certainly have achieved the same result. In many ways, the closest presidential election in history is being given more credit here (IMHO) for its proximity (i.e. narrow outcome) than for the difference it would have made (i.e. better outcome) had the results differed. Personally, I think a Seymour win over Grant would have made a far more profound difference than Tilden over Hayes.

    3. Cox over Harding. Harding was an able man whose presidency was very successful (and was quite popular to boot.) Condemned for both personal and political scandals overblown in popular memory since his death, in perspective Harding is more par-for-the-course than uniquely condemned by his (and his administration’s) indiscretions. Harding truly did return the country to “normalcy”, including a post-war boom thanks to his policies. Harding was far from one of the worst presidents. Cox was an outspoken advocate of Wilsonianism and, consequently, was soundly rejected by the electorate in 1920, even by his own home state. (Cox won only 11 of a possible 48 states, all of which were Confederate or border states in the Civil War.)

    2. Scott over Pierce. Insightful selection here. Personally I believe a Scott presidency would be what we could have expected the previous four years had Zachary Taylor lived to complete his term. The Kansas-Nebraska Act certainly would never have become law had Scott’s signature been required. Scott would have also taken measures in advance (as did Andrew Jackson twenty years earlier) to squelch the possibility of secession. A Whig victory in 1852, incidentally, may also have prevented the formation of the Republican Party and would have maintained the balance of a two-party system in which neither party was strictly limited to the interests of a single geographic region of the country.

    1. TR over Wilson. It’s a shame that the TR and Taft forces could not reconcile after the nomination – I blame TR’s unwillingness to withdraw – because either candidate would have won in a two-party race against Wilson. Not altogether sure about WWI and its aftermath being terribly different (other than prosecuted more competently and honestly), but I’m certain TR would have made a better president than Wilson.

    Agreed about several of the misses on this list, especially 1964, 1948, 1916 and 1860. I would also add a few more which haven’t been mentioned:

    1824 – William Crawford over John Q. Adams. True, Crawford was in ill health, but he did recover and he was the real torchbearer of the Jeffersonian legacy. Besides, the president in those days wasn’t the 24/7 national nanny supervising a bureaucratic behemoth like today. Think Jackson administration minus the tyranny, demagoguery and no Trail of Tears.

    1888 – Grover Cleveland over Benjamin Harrison. Just to be clear, in this round, Harrison was the challenger and Cleveland the incumbent. The Harrison presidency saw the passage of legislation which Cleveland would have wisely vetoed and a more militant approach to foreign policy. Harrison, for all his merits, was little more than an inoffensive party lackey who acted as a rubber stamp to more than a few bad ideas. Cleveland had enough guts – I’m speaking figuratively here – to oppose his own base when principle called for it.

    2008 – John McCain over Barack Obama. It’s not that McCain would have made a great president so much as Obama has made a poor one. Tougher stance against Islamic terrorism, greater respect from our allies and more feared by our enemies, more class in the White House (rather than playing the blame game 24/7), fewer outright assaults on the Constitution, and certainly a less cumbersome approach to the private sector, permitting the economy some much needed breathing room. Oh yeah…a president who actually has a record of bipartisanship rather than whiny finger-pointing and petulant name-calling. Perhaps best of all: no Obamacare driving up costs and driving out physicians from the health care field.

    Reply

Leave a Reply