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Obama and his executive orders

President Obama delivered his state of the union address Tuesday.
President Obama delivered his state of the union address Tuesday.
Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Far right pundits like to harp on the "dictatorial" nature of President Barack Obama. His mentioning the possibility of issuing a few more at the State of the Union Address got them going again.

People might be stunned to learn that while Obama has had some executive orders, he is far from the top as far as the presidents who have had the most over their terms of office.

According to the American Presidency Project, Executive orders go back to George Washington, who made eight of them.

There are many reasons a president might issue an executive order, and those areas are spelled out in the constitution. Obama has issued 168 executive orders, which is fewer than most REpublicans.

George W. Bush issued 291 executive orders. George Bush senior had 166 in one term, and Gerald Ford had 169 also in one term. Nixon had 346 and Eisenhower had 484. The president with the most ever was Franklin Roosevelt, with an amazing 3,522 of them.

Here are the numbers,

George Washington Total8unnumberedJohn Adams

Total

1unnumberedThomas Jefferson Total4unnumberedJames Madison

Total

1unnumberedJames Monroe Total1unnumberedJohn Quincy Adams

Total

3unnumberedAndrew Jackson Total12unnumberedMartin van Buren

Total

10unnumberedWilliam Henry HarrisonTotal0unnumberedJohn Tyler

Total

17unnumberedJames K. Polk Total18unnumberedZachary Taylor Total5unnumberedMillard Fillmore Total12unnumberedFranklin Pierce

Total

35unnumberedJames Buchanan Total16unnumberedAbraham Lincoln

Total

48unnumberedAndrew Johnson Total79unnumberedUlysses S. Grant

Total

217unnumberedRutherford B. Hayes Total92unnumberedJames Garfield Total6unnumberedChester Arthur Total96unnumberedGrover Cleveland - I

Total

113unnumberedBenjamin Harrison Total143unnumberedGrover Cleveland - II

Total

140unnumberedWilliam McKinley Total185unnumberedTheodore Roosevelt

Total

1,081 William Howard TaftTotal724 Woodrow Wilson

Total

1,803 Warren G. Harding Total522 Calvin Coolidge

Total

1,203 Herbert Hoover Total9685075 - 6070 Franklin D. Roosevelt

Total

3,5226071 - 9537 Harry S. Truman Total9079538 - 10431 I5049538 - 10029II40310030 - 10431Dwight D. Eisenhower

Total

48410432 - 10913 I26610432 - 10695-AII21810696 - 10913John F. Kennedy Total21410914 - 11127 Lyndon B. Johnson

Total

32511128 - 11451 Richard Nixon Total34611452 - 11797 I24711452 - 11698II9911699 - 11797Gerald R. Ford

Total

16911798 - 11966 Jimmy Carter Total32011967 - 12286 Ronald Reagan

Total

38112287 - 12667 I21312287 - 12499II16812500 - 12667George Bush Total16612668 - 12833William J. Clinton

Total

36412834 - 13197I20012834 - 13033II16413034 - 13197George W. Bush Total29113198 - 13488 I17313198 - 13370II11813371 - 13488Barack Obama

Total

16813489 - 13656... I14713489 - 13635 II2113636 - 13656...