Fact: Thinner Presidents Are No Better at the Job - The Atlantic Wire
Geege Schuman stashed this in Politics
But here's the deal: There is zero correlation between size and performance. None. We dug up two data points, each presidents' body-mass index (roughly the proportion of his weight to height), and his aggregated historical ranking. (Data sources are listed at link below.) Then we graphed them. The higher the president's bubble, the higher his body-mass index, and the more heavy-set he was. Historical evaluation of his presidency goes from best at left (Lincoln) to worst at right (Harding).
What makes a president's performance best?
You mean what comprises the aggregate measure? I'll research as soon as the weather gets gross.
Sweet is the interactive table at this link!
Another presidential poll was conducted by The Wall Street Journal in 2005, with James Lindgren of Northwestern University Law School for the Federalist Society. As in the 2000 survey, the editors sought to balance the opinions of liberals and conservatives, adjusting the results "to give Democratic- and Republican-leaning scholars equal weight." Franklin D. Roosevelt still ranked in the top-three, but editor James Taranto noted that Democratic-leaning scholars rated George W. Bush the sixth-worst president of all time, while Republican scholars rated him the sixth-best, giving him a split-decision rating of "average".
The C-SPAN Survey of Presidential Leadership consists of rankings from a group of presidential historians and "professional observers of the presidency" who ranked presidents in a number of categories initially in 2000 and more recently in 2009.  With some minor variation, both surveys found that historians consider Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin D. Roosevelt the three best presidents by a wide margin and William Henry Harrison (to a lesser extent), Warren G. Harding, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, George W. Bush and James Buchanan the worst.
In 2011, through the agency of its United States Presidency Centre (USPC), the Institute for the Study of the Americas (located in the University of London’s School of Advanced Study) released the first ever U.K. academic survey to rate U.S. presidents. This polled the opinion of British specialists in American history and politics to assess presidential performance. They also gave an interim assessment of Barack Obama, but his unfinished presidency was not included in the survey (had he been included, he would have attained eighth place overall).
William Henry Harrison was only president for a month.
I wonder what made Harding, Johnson, Pierce, and Buchanan worse than George W Bush.
I guess respectively creating the conditions for the Great Depression, a weak Reconstruction, and the Civil War.