Everyone's talking about C-SPAN's ranking of the Presidents, so I might as well too.
My question: what, exactly, was it that Kennedy did to rank sixth? He's ahead, just to pick one, of Thomas Jefferson, who doubled the size of the country and dedicated his life, more or less, to identifying useful things and bringing them to the United States for exploitation.
Kennedy, on the other hand, was in office for not even three years, and as far as I can tell he was batting just over .300 on big moments: Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam.
Now, granted, he handled the Cuban Missile Crisis nicely in that we didn't have a nuclear war, but to be perfectly honest I'm not sure missiles in Cuba were justification for nuclear war anyway. So: I call that about a wash, in that he reached the best outcome of a crisis I'm not exactly sure warranted being a crisis.
I'm thinking that maybe Kennedy's high position is a function of demographics, that the Presidential historians involved in this are of exactly the right age to have been inspired by Kennedy's New Generation energy and good looks, and that his star will fall in the next 20 years. On the other hand, maybe I'm missing something.
Little help, reader?