Holy Cow! History: Who had worst first year as POTUS?


No matter how you look at it, 2021 was a bumpy ride for President Joe Biden. Washington pundits are already declaring his agenda D.O.A., and at least one says Biden’s had the worst first year of any president. Ever.

In the current era of political hyperbole and 24/7 cable news commentary, such a claim is hardly a surprise. But from the standpoint of history, it has to be labeled #FakeNews.

Looking for a rough rookie presidential year? Try William Henry Harrison. He stood in bitingly cold weather without a coat or hat and delivered a two-hour inaugural address, the longest in history. It was hardly a surprise when the 68-year-old died of pneumonia 31 days later, the shortest presidency in history. (The evidence suggests a longer Harrison administration wouldn’t have been any prize.)

But Harrison’s short-lived presidency can be dismissed as an outlier. Not so with President Bill…

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