Bill Clinton is responsible for 9/11:
Or at least that the implication by Vincent J. Cannato, Op-ed contributor to the Washington Post. The Post published three essays about Bush's ranking among presidents. Two were negative assessments of his presidency: He's The Worst Ever
and Move Over, Hoover
. The third essay, by Cannato, is Time's On His Side
, which asks that people wait before rendering a judgement. In it Cannato writes about how perceptions of other presidents have changed over time. In particular:
Historical and popular judgments about presidents are always in flux. Dwight D. Eisenhower used to be considered a banal and lazy chief executive who embodied the "conformist" 1950s. Today, his reputation has improved because of more positive appraisals of his Cold War stewardship. Ronald Reagan, whom many historians dismissed as an amiable dunce, has also had his stock rise. On the flip side, Bill Clinton's presidency looks somewhat different after Monica Lewinsky, the bursting of the dot-com bubble and 9/11 than it did in 1997.
Neat. So, an attack that was anticipated in the summer of 2001 and that Bush did nothing to prevent is attributed to Clinton
. With that kind of shifting of responsibility, any president can be considered great, or a failure. How about that Hoover guy? Since people alive while he was president helped defeat the Nazis, produce antibiotics like penicillin, and send a man to the moon, Herbert Hoover must be considered one of our best presidents ever.
The most skillful alchemist historian could not convert George W's sow's ear into a silk purse.