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Presidents Ranked by Executive Appointments


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This category ranks presidents by historically great/bad administrative appointments, relatively scandal free or scandalous appointments, relative stability of the cabinet, and appointments blocked by Congress or in which the president was compelled to withdraw the pick.

Note: There's a lot of ties in here. 

  1. Teddy Roosevelt
  2. FDR
  3. Lincoln
  4. Polk
  5. Monroe
  6. Washington
  7. Jefferson
  8. B Harrison
  9. McKinley
  10. Taft
  11. Eisenhower
  12. Biden **Shouldn't count, up here because hasn't had time to lose points**
  13. Garfield **Shouldn't count**
  14. WH Harrison **Shouldn't count**
  15. Hayes
  16. Ford
  17. JQ Adams
  18. GHW Bush
  19. Coolidge
  20. Pierce
  21. JFK
  22. Cleveland (1st term)
  23. Van Buren
  24. Carter
  25. Nixon
  26. Truman
  27. Wilson
  28. Taylor
  29. J Adams
  30. Arthur
  31. Cleveland (2nd term)
  32. Madison
  33. Fillmore
  34. Clinton
  35. Harding
  36. LBJ
  37. Hoover
  38. Reagan
  39. Jackson
  40. A Johnson
  41. Obama
  42. Grant
  43. GW Bush
  44. Buchanan
  45. Trump
  46. Tyler  (He had 6 total appointments blocked!)
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8 minutes ago, Patine said:

William Henry Harrison should count here, at least for nominations. He made quite a few. He just died before the Senate got to review them.

We can't weigh all the factors in the score because many of them resigned almost immediately after his death.

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10 minutes ago, Patine said:

In fact, I had read that - I think it was either his wife or daughter, I believe - who blamed the endless swarms of patronage seekers to ultimately leading to his death.

That was normal until FDR created the Executive Office of the Presidency, which expanded the number of employees and such. Lincoln was bogged down by this too, despite the Civil War. Garfield also got nothing done for the same reason. 

The majority of these jobs were postmaster generals for the county or towns. The Postmaster General of the US used to control the most patronage positions, which is why party bosses often liked being named to this office. 

My great-great-great grandfather, Thomas Smith Greenwood held lighthouse keeper of the Ipswich, Massachusetts lighthouse, which was a patronage position. He was obviously a rare Massachusetts Democrats (for whatever reason). He was first appointed in 1838 by Van Buren, removed by WH Harrison. Reinstated by Polk. Removed by Taylor. Reinstated by Pierce, kept by Buchanan, and removed by Lincoln. Prior to 1838, he was a ship captain and farmer. In between lighthouse gigs, he ran a shoe manufacturing business in both Massachusetts and Maine. After 1861, he was a farmer. 

I know he met Polk and Buchanan in person in 1847 when they arrived in Massachusetts and the same year he was reappointed, and possibly he was reappointed in person. In 1839, he had won the Massachusetts Human Society award for jumping in the ocean to save lives when a ship wrecked in the storm. He failed to save two people and named his son after both of them (First and middle name). Another interesting fact is that he built his own violin and wedding clothes. His wife's father (my gr-gr-gr-gr grandfather) was also a ship captain, owning about 18 ships. And his daughter married my gr-gr-grandfather, Charles Johnson Maynard, who was a famous naturalist at the time, focusing primarily on birds but also on other animals. 

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