George W. Bush and former U-T owner Douglas Manchester
Many in San Diego will not forget the Union-Tribune's "Our Mount Rushmore: The five best U.S. presidents" editorial headline of 2012. The editorial board concluded George W. Bush was the fifth-best president ever (tied with his dad) and deemed Barack Obama the worst ever.
Highly reputable presidential historian Jean Edward Smith, has just come out with a new book on George W. Bush. It's called Bush. Its first words: "Rarely in the history of the United States has the nation been so ill-served as during the presidency of George W. Bush."
The author is no hatchet-man or crackpot. He "made a name for himself in part with masterly biographies of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ulysses S. Grant," says the New York Times.
Siena College polls experts on the presidency every few years. Scholars are asked to rate presidents on such things as integrity, intelligence, court appointments, and domestic and foreign policy accomplishments. In 2010, George W. Bush was rated 39th of 43 presidents, putting him in the bottom five. In 2014, the Washington Post did a survey of 162 presidential scholars. Bush came in 35th.
The owner and chief executive of the U-T in 2012, Douglas Manchester and John Lynch, respectively, are both gone.