‘The Rundown’: Was Trump one of the worst presidents ever?

Your Thursday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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Was Trump one of the worst presidents ever?

If more than 140 presidential historians are believed, former President Donald Trump will go down as one of the worst presidents in history.

Trump ranked 41st out of 44 presidents in the quadrennial survey of historians conducted by C-SPAN. Only Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson, and James Buchannan ranked lower. Trump was ranked behind William Henry Harrison, who was in office for just one month, Zachary Taylor, who served just over a year, and James Garfield, who died from an assassin’s bullet 6 months after his inauguration.

Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin and Teddy Roosevelt were at the top of the list. The top 5 are unchanged from the last survey.

The historians were asked to rank the chief executives on 10 characteristics. Trump ranked the highest on public persuasion (#32) and economic management (#34). Trump ranked dead last among the presidents in moral authority and administrative skills. His constant lying and turbulent time in the White House probably had something to do with his low ranking.

Ronald Reagan ranked 9th overall, just ahead of Barack Obama, who was 10th. Obama was ranked 12th in the 2017 survey.

Here’s what you need to know for Thursday morning

Utah news

  • The head of Utah’s Republican Party wants to sit down with Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell to discuss critical race theory and why he thinks it should not be taught in Utah’s schools. [Tribune]

  • Utah leaders are begging the public to ditch fireworks this year amid the severe drought and high fire danger. [Tribune]

  • President Joe Biden pledged to help Western states with fighting wildfires across the region. [Tribune]

  • Reps. Blake Moore and Chris Stewart voted to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol, while Reps. John Curtis and Burgess Owens opposed the move. [Tribune]

  • The Utah County Commission voted Wednesday to reduce taxes, reversing a decision to hike property taxes two years ago. [Tribune]

  • Utahns are moving into RVs, trailers, or vans because of rising rents and housing prices. [Tribune]

National news

  • Alan Weisellberg, the CFO of the Trump Organization, surrendered to authorities Thursday morning after a grand jury indicted him and the company in connection with a tax investigation. [NYT]

  • The House of Representatives approved forming a commission to examine the events and causes of the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters. All four of Utah’s representatives voted against the investigation. [Politico]

  • More than a dozen arrests in connection with the attack on the Capitol were announced Wednesday, the most in a single day. [WaPo]

  • This is remarkable. The New York Times put together videos from the Capitol riot to investigate how the attack happened. [NYT]

  • Republican members of Congress traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border to cheer on former President Trump as he visited the area. [AP]

  • Donald Rumsfeld, who served under four different presidents, died at the age of 88. Rumsfeld served two non-consecutive terms as Defense Secretary and was the youngest and oldest person to hold that post. [NYT]

  • Newly updated voting numbers show the NYC mayor’s race is tightening up, with Eric Adams leading Kathryn Garcia by about 2%. [NYT]

  • Bill Cosby is out of prison after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction. [CNN]

  • The death toll from the condo collapse in Miami rose to 18. The bodies of two children were found in the rubble on Wednesday. Hundreds of people are still missing. Rescue work was halted early Thursday morning over fears that the rest of the building may collapse [Miami Herald]

  • The horrific heatwave that’s gripping the Pacific Northwest may have already killed hundreds of people. [AP]

  • The Chinese Communist Party celebrated its 100th anniversary. Xi Jinping, China’s leader, said countries that attempt to “bully” China would meet stiff resistance. [CNN]

  • Online brokerage Robinhood agreed to pay $70 million in fines to settle a regulatory investigation. [WSJ]

  • Every college athlete in the country is now able to make money from endorsements. On Wednesday, the NCAA suspended the rules prohibiting athletes from selling rights to their names, images, and likenesses. [ESPN]

A golden anniversary

Today is the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the 26th Amendment, which gave 18-year-olds the right to vote.

The White House issued a proclamation to mark the milestone, which went into effect on July 1, 1971.

Gen Z voters overwhelmingly voted for Joe Biden in 2020, with 65% casting a ballot for the Democratic nominee. That was 11% more than any other age group.

Thursday morning’s Utah news roundup


  • Latter-day Saint leaders no longer can perform civil marriages between nonmembers. [Tribune]

  • Texas Instruments to acquire Micron chip plant in Lehi for $900 million. [DNews]

  • Downtown USPS offices moving to new location Thursday. [KUTV]

  • Experts say gas prices will be highest since 2014 ahead of holiday weekend. [Standard Examiner]

  • UTA looking at major expansion of Ogden facility ahead of BRT completion. [Standard Examiner]


  • Utah reports 574 new cases of COVID-19 — the most in more than two months. [Tribune]

  • Healthcare workers, officials concerned with recent COVID-19 surge. [FOX13]


  • Two new Utah hunting laws on target to take effect Thursday. [Herald Extra]

Local Government

  • Summit County official has ‘zero aspiration’ for Park City mayor’s office after soils criticism. [Park Record]

  • Federal funds could flow into Summit County. [Park Record]


  • Utah woman sues after she was kicked out of student housing in Orem for having ‘vocalized suicidal tendencies’. [Tribune]

  • Habitat for Humanity completes one home, starts another in same cul-de-sac. [Daily Herald]


  • More flash flooding is ‘probable’ even as Zion National Park tries to clean up. [Tribune]

  • Snowbird expects big drop in emissions with new energy system. [KSL]

  • More Weber County cities warn against fireworks, vendors crossing their fingers. [Standard Examiner]


  • American Preparatory Academy ordered to pay $2.8 million - this time for real. [KUTV]

  • Salt Lake School Board names replacement for former board member facing child porn charges. [DNews]

  • Ogden High principal named new district superintendent after national search. [KSL]

On the Opinion Pages

  • Robert Gehrke: Romney and Curtis are the Utahns with a chance to fix our broken Congress. [Tribune]

  • Andrew Stoddard: My LDS faith leads me to support the Equality Act. [Tribune]

  • Chris Stewart: Yes, there is a win/win on LGBTQ rights and religious liberty. [DNews]

🎂 You say it’s your birthday?!!

Many happy returns to former Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall; Ben Horsely, communications director for Granite school district; and also Bob Springmeyer, chairman at Bonneville Research

Got a birthday you’d like us to recognize in this space? Send us an email.

— Tribune reporter Connor Sanders contributed to this story.

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