Obama ranked 12th best U.S. president ever by historians

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Only a month after leaving office, former President Barack Obama’s legacy is already shining bright, as he was ranked number 12 of all United States presidents in a C-SPAN survey of 91 presidential historians published on Friday.

It’s the highest showing for any president this soon after leaving office since Ronald Reagan, number nine on the list.

Historians ranked Obama highly because of his “moral authority” and his actions to legalize marriage equality and dealing with the economy. However, he received low marks in international relations.

Other than Obama’s high-ranking, much of the list hasn’t changed, with the top spot once again going to Abraham Lincoln, with George Washington in second and both presidents Roosevelt right after that, with FDR in third and Teddy Roosevelt in fourth. James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson came in at the very bottom of the list.

“Once again the Big Three are Lincoln, Washington and FDR — as it should be,” said one of the shepherds of the survey, Douglas Brinkley of Rice University in Houston, adding, “That Obama came in at number 12 his first time out is quite impressive.”

Howard University historian Edna Greene Medford noted that it was possible Obama will rise up in the rankings over time, saying, “Historians prefer to view the past from a distance, and only time will reveal his legacy.”