With America's next president soon to emerge, the Times of London ranked all previous presidents on their effectiveness, placing the outgoing George Bush in a tie with Richard Nixon for thirty-seventh place (sixth from the bottom) due to his launching of the long, drawn-out War on Terror.
Eight top international political science commentators from the Times ranked the 42 American presidents in terms of their greatness, with James Buchanan (1857-1861) selected as the worst president. His failure to stop the outbreak of the civil war is considered by historians to be the worst mistake ever committed by an occupant of the White House. The second-worst president is Buchanan's successor, Franklin Pierce, whose term in office saw the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, an act of appeasement toward slavery that generated fierce acrimony.
Bush, ranked sixth to last, is most criticized for leading the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in the name of the War on Terror, which led to protracted warfare and declining popularity for the president. In addition, Bush was also severely criticized for his poor handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster and the global financial crisis.
Tied with Bush for thirty-seventh place is Republican Richard Nixon, who, charged with concealing his involvement in the Watergate scandal, resigned from Office with a heavy heart.