|James Buchanan, utterly worthless as president|
Ever since historians have been polled on the issue, James Buchanan consistently rated among the top three stinkers, presidentially speaking. Lately he has been drifting to the nadir, behind Warren G. Harding, who had a nicer personality.
(It's interesting to note that two of worst three presidents--James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson--bracket the best president, Abraham Lincoln.)
In his inaugural address in 1856, Buchanan called the territorial issue of slavery "happily, a matter of but little practical purpose." Slave states, he argued, should be free to conduct their affairs as they saw fit. (Never mind the abomination of enslaving another human being.) As slave states began seceding from the Union in late 1860, Buchanan dithered. He was overjoyed to leave the issue for Lincoln to handle.
Buchanan lived to see the end of the Civil War. Just before his death in 1868, he said, "History will vindicate my memory from every unjust aspersion."
Wrong again, Jimmy.
By the way, Buchanan was the only native Pennsylvanian to be elected president. Pennsylvania has not produced a presidential nominee since then. Nor should we try, lest we embarrass ourselves again.