Despite having failed to stop let alone reverse the rising of the seas, Barack Obama has made Newsweek’s newest ten best presidents list, which gives readers a top ten of the chief executives since 1900. Newsweek, whose list unsurprisingly is dominated by liberal Democrats, gave this justification for selecting Obama in a caption in a photo slide:
Picking a sitting president in a tally of the best is tricky – history hasn’t had time to put things in a more sober context. But the historic election of America’s first black president cannot be ignored. That a man whose ancestors included a slave could become the leader of a nation founded to some extent in slavery is as much an achievement for the country as it is a marker for Obama himself. Whether Obama stays or goes, his standing, as a fundamentally groundbreaking president will remain.