Obama Receives B- Letter Grade From Historians, Administration Has ‘Merely Been Adequate’

on September 10 2013 2:16 PM
barack obama
History professors from colleges across the United States gave President Barack Obama's presidency a B- letter grade. Wikimedia Commons

President Barack Obama may have attended two Ivy League schools, but his grades as a president are less than stellar.

At least, that’s what some historians think. More than 200 weighed in to grade Obama’s presidency, and they gave him an overall B- or 2.97 grade point average (GPA).

History professors from colleges across the United States graded the president in 16 different categories including his relationship with Congress, how he has handled the economy, and his transparency and accountability.

“Barack Obama was a promising presidential candidate and possesses sterling personal leadership qualities, but his administration has merely been adequate in delivering results,” HNN (History News Network) described the results to the poll.

While Obama’s Supreme Court appointments received an A- grade, historians polled indicated that the president’s transparency and relationship with Congress were areas that needed improvement.

He was praised for the Affordable Care Act, the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, the killing of Osama Bin Laden and for ending the Iraq War. Criticism lay in his handling of the economy, his failure to close Guantanamo Bay and drone strikes.

The poll, which was conducted before the Edward Snowden story broke, also showed a concern over the Obama’s administration’s lack of transparency and the prosecution of Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning.

HNN sent a poll via email to 679 American history professors at 56 top colleges and universities beginning in April. The network received 203 responses and converted the responses to a letter grade on an A-F scale along with a corresponding GPA.  

Communication ability, integrity and crisis management were Obama’s strong suits – scoring A- in each category.

“Many historians were also disillusioned by the partisan gridlock in Washington, although they tend to place the blame largely on congressional Republicans,” HNN staff wrote. “Just about the only aspect of Barack Obama's presidency which has received universal praise from historians has been the president's Supreme Court appointments. Both Elena Kagan and especially Sonia Sotomayor are highly respected by academics.”

What grade would you give the president? Reply in the comments below.

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