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Poll: Who Has Been the Most Effective President in the Past 30 Years? Poll: Who Has Been the Most Effective President in the Past 30 Years?

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Political Insiders Poll

Poll: Who Has Been the Most Effective President in the Past 30 Years?

Who has been the most effective president in the past 30 years?


Ronald Reagan: 11%
George H.W. Bush: 4%
Bill Clinton: 75%
George W. Bush: 3%
Barack Obama: 7%


Ronald Reagan

"Tip O'Neill and RR made divided government work. Lesson unlearned."

George H.W. Bush


"Effective management of the end of the Cold War, building a coalition to free Kuwait, and organized the Madrid Conference."

Bill Clinton

"Intelligence, charisma, and a good economy, stupid."

"The U.S. was prosperous and at peace while he was president. Clinton is the only president in this generation who left a budget surplus to his successor."


"Peace, prosperity, surpluses, and a deal-making, fair-minded president. Tough to beat the '90s."

"Without a peer in the modern era."

"If it weren't for Monica and impeachment, it wouldn't even be a close call."

"Remarkable what he was able to accomplish while having a Republican Congress."

George W. Bush

"We're still in the Middle East, the public doesn't mind being wiretapped, and we're still under his tax regime."

Barack Obama

"Only one on the list to end two wars, rescue the economy from the deepest recession since WWII, and pass universal health care."


Who has been the most effective president in the past 30 years?


Ronald Reagan: 89%
George H.W. Bush: 3%
Bill Clinton: 6%
George W. Bush: 2%
Barack Obama: 0%

Ronald Reagan

"Not close. Reagan 'won' the Cold War, ended stagflation, and heralded the rise of market economics. Only FDR tops him in 20th century."

"Hands down. Even Chris Matthews is honest enough to admit the transformative nature of Reagan's presidency."

"Is this supposed to be a trick question? Come on. Even liberals and the media ought to be able to be honest enough to admit that, especially compared to the others."

"Turning around the economy, defeating communism, restoring faith in the future—these are not small things."

"Tax cuts passed, federal agencies reined in, Cold War over, economic recovery, not impeached, not a polarizing and despised leader. Obama and W. are hated by the opposite party."

"He and Tip O'Neill set the gold standard."

"His policies ignited the greatest economic revival since the Depression and led to the implosion of the Soviet state."

"Reagan gave America new direction with a Democratic House.and later with a Democratic Senate. Not an easy feat, as everyone else on the list could attest to."

George H.W. Bush

"In only four years he won a war, negotiated a landmark free-trade agreement, and crafted a difficult budget deal that led to the prosperity of the '90s. Plus, he taught lessons in patriotism and civility that resonate, especially in today's environment."

Bill Clinton

"NAFTA, welfare reform, balanced budget—and all with a Republican Congress."

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O'Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud. 

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