When will Obama end up on Mount Rushmore?

Regardless of what some may think about his politics or even performance as our nation's Commander in Chief and as "leader of the Free World," President Barack Obama will inarguably leave an indelible mark on the annals of history as a truly singular entity. His role as our nation's first African American president and his attempt to be a more intimate presence in the lives of all Americans has earned him the respect of a great deal of our populace, if not the scorn of those who would deride his liberal stances and occasional backsliding with various key issues such as the recent spate of wars in the Middle East.

No matter what his critics might feel about his presidency, according to one-third of the professors recently surveyed at Washington DC's prestigious George Washington University, Obama's face may in fact end up being forever memorialized alongside Abraham Lincoln and his ilk on the rocky scales of Mount Rushmore.

Being that George Washington University has in the past been ranked in the Top 10 as regards both "Best in the Northeast" and "Most Politically Active," according to traditional college rankings arbiter Princeton Review (as well as being the alma mater of the likes of former Secretary of State Colin Powell), it's indeed worth noting that three of the 10 history/political science professors questioned by the Student Free Press Association's College Fix said that though it may be too early to see Obama grinning back to us from Mount Rushmore, it's something that is quite likely ... eventually.

"Historical judgments take time to form and Obama is still in office," George Washington University history professor Edward Berkowitz wrote in an email to the College Fix. "It could be that he will be one of the great presidents, worthy of having his likeness carved on a mountain, but certainly not yet."     

Berkowitz was not alone in his optimism about Obama's likeness ending up on Mount Rushmore. No less than George Washington University's chairman of the political science department, Professor Paul Wahlbeck, agrees.

"History undoubtedly will accord President Obama a special place by virtue of being the first African American President," Wahlbeck said.

Wahlbeck and Berkowitz -- who, it should be remembered, share the minority opinion on the topic -- have some firm detractors, however.

Robert Stoker, a political science professor at the university believes not only that it's far too soon to distinguish Obama as deserving a space on Mt. Rushmore, but also that the whole idea may be in somewhat bad taste.

"I recall how unseemly it was when Republicans started a premature campaign to cement President Reagan's legacy by naming everything they could find after him," Stoker said, quipping that "at least the Republicans waited until Reagan was no longer in office."

A total of six George Washington University political science and history professors said they did not believe Obama would end up on Mount Rushmore, with one professor abstaining from the survey.

Mount Rushmore was originally dedicated in 1941 and resides in South Dakota's Black Hills. It currently exhibits sculptures of four presidents to date: Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and George Washington. Both Roosevelt and Lincoln were members of the Republican party, and being that Washington was not a member of any party (with Jefferson being a member of the short-lived Democratic-Republican party that would eventually be split into both the Democratic and Republican parties), Obama would be the first "actual" Democrat honored by being included on the presidential mountainside.

Do you think Obama deserves to be immortalized on Mount Rushmore? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!  

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