White House hedges on â€˜4th-bestâ€™ president claim
By Dave Boyer-The Washington Times
Facing widespread ridicule for President Obamaâ€™s description of himself as at least the fourth-best president in history, the White House on Wednesday tried to qualify his assessment as based in part on the â€œvolumeâ€ of his achievements.
â€œVoters will judge it, and historians will judge it, in terms of where it fits in terms of American history in its relative success or greatness,â€ presidential spokesman Jay Carney said of Mr. Obamaâ€™s presidency. â€œThatâ€™s not what he was talking about.â€
The presidentâ€™s comments that provoked such a reaction were part of an interview that he gave to Steve Kroft of â€œ60 Minutes,â€ but they appeared only in outtakes on the newsmagazineâ€™s website. Asked by Mr. Kroft to reflect on his presidency to date, Mr. Obama replied:
â€œThe issue here is not going be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign-policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president – with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR and Lincoln – just in terms of what weâ€™ve gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, weâ€™ve got a lot more work to do.â€
Some people observed that Mr. Obama left out George Washington.
Critics accused Mr. Obama of exhibiting everything from vanity to illusions of grandeur.
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