Bill Clinton’s face doesn’t appear on Mount Rushmore, and he doesn’t have a monument bearing his name in Washington, D.C. That much we know.
But judging by the reaction to the former president these days, it seems some are ready to mention him in the same breath as some of those bronze and stone statues.
Clinton served up the best-reviewed speech of the 2012 convention season on Wednesday, cementing his status as perhaps the preeminent force in American politics nearly 12 years after his presidency ended.
A stunning 69 percent of Americans in a Gallup poll released this week rated him favorably — a number higher than ever been before, even at the height of his presidential popularity. And his address Wednesday will likely only add to the growing nostalgia for his terms in office.
Given that popularity, it’s pretty reasonable to ask whether Clinton will be remembered as one of the greatest presidents ever.
And while he’s not there yet, it’s trending strongly in that direction.
Opinion polls of the best commanders-in-chief tend to favor more recent presidents. A 2011 Gallup poll asked Americans who the best president ever was, and Ronald Reagan and Clinton filled two of the top three slots — ahead of consensus great presidents including George Washington, John F. Kennedy and both Roosevelts.