Franklin Roosevelt, Barack Obama, surely ain't. Neither is he Abraham Lincoln nor, for that matter, Millard Fillmore nor Warren Harding. It seems to this retired political reporter that Obama has been an okay president – not the best, not the worst.
Sure, the economy is kind of in a mess but, if you're old enough to remember the Great Depression (and I am), this isn't even close to that league.
I think you have to give the President average grades on almost everything. He's gotten us almost out of one (Iraq) of the two extremely foolish wars in which his predecessor, George W. Bush, involved us. There's less progress in leaving the other trouble spot (Afghanistan) but even there we see some signs that Obama would like to leave. He avoided committing American ground troops to Libya; you can imagine how the mighty W. would have jumped into that briar patch.
So, overall he has been kind of an average president. Give him a C+, perhaps even a B-, if only because he looks so well in class.
On a few things he might rate an A+: Osama bin Laden is dead; the national health care bill passed; "don't ask, don't tell" is gone.
Anyway, compare Barack Obama and Joe Biden, almost certain re-election candidates, against what the Republican candidates offer. It's enough to make your head spin. Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain? They're not in the same league. This is not an endorsement, of course, but I don't see any of them making the grade.
Morton is a retired political reporter who worked in Washington for CBS News from 1964-1993 and for CNN from 1993-2006. He attended his first political convention in 1960 and has been to most of them since then.