It's Presidents Day so this is a good time to give you our very own personal ranking of the Top Ten Presidents of all time. Some of these names are practically de rigeur. You see them on almost every such list. But some of these will surprise you. Here they are:
1) Abraham Lincoln - He not only saved the union but he remains the single most compelling figure in American history.
2) George Washington - His very name defines virtue. He remains our inspiration and our touchstone. Literally, he was honest, courageous and true.
3) Ronald Reagan - The greatest president in my lifetime and a towering figure of the 20th century. He gave us hope and presided over the end of the end of Soviet communism and the rebirth of the American Dream.
4) Harry Truman - The straight-talking man from Missouri whose old-fashioned common sense and quiet strength grounded in simple American values led us through a perilous time and into the second half of the American century.
5) Franklin D. Roosevelt - More for winning the war than anything else, he defined the bigger-than-life, charismatic leader of the media age. A consummate politician, he seemed to empower the presidency through sheer force of will.
6) Dwight Eisenhower - Peace and prosperity. Those were his hallmarks. But he was also a superb manager. strong leader and astute navigator who led us through the Cold War with conviction and nerves of steel.
7) Theodore Roosevelt - If conservationism was his sole accomplishment that alone would warrant inclusion in this list. He established numerous national parks to preserve the wildlife that was quickly being overtaken through industrialization and he wasn't afraid to take on powerful special interests.
8) Calvin Coolidge - Silent Cal understood that the business of America is business. Coolidge restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor's administration, and left office with considerable popularity. He embodied the hopes and dreams of the middle class and he knew how to cut government down to size and unleash boom times.
9) James K. Polk - Often considered the best one-term president ever, Polk increased the size of the United States more than any other president through the acquisition of California and New Mexico as a result of the Mexican-American War. He also claimed Oregon Territory after a treaty with England. He was a key figure in Manifest Destiny.
10) I've deliberately left this slot open. Now, you tell us who should be on the list. Your suggestions invited.