It's Presidents Day, and on "CBS This Morning" presidential historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Douglas Brinkley, a CBS News consultant, took a look back at some of the presidents, their influence and some of their history-making moments.
Goodwin and Brinkley also looked at the current president and how his term is shaping up. Goodwin said President Barack Obama seems to be "taking strands" from different presidents.
"(Obama) does read history and loves history," she said. "I think for a time after the recession started, he had some of that FDR in him when he called the 'fat cat bankers' and talked about reckless practices on Wall Street. But it didn't fit his temperament the way it did for FDR who was good at that aggressive kind of fighting. Recently, I think he's taken a stand from Theodore Roosevelt in that speech he made in Kansas, which I think set the tone for his campaign and really for his presidency, talking about fundamental fairness, a square deal -- not necessarily class warfare against the rich as Theodore Roosevelt constantly said he wasn't fighting, but making sure everyone has a fair shot. And now he also seems to have a little Harry Truman in him by sort of challenging Congress to do all these things and then he can say in the midst of the campaign, 'They were a do-nothing Congress,' like Harry Truman said. So I think presidents pick up from the past and I think he has done that."
Brinkley added, "Remember when Obama came in, on Time magazine, it (said it) was going to be a new, new deal. He was going to be the new FDR. It was going to be a new progressive era. He suddenly realized we're still in the age of Reagan, meaning there's a skepticism about the federal government doing great things. He got healthcare through, he bailed out GM. He got two women appointed to the Supreme Court. But he can never become a great legislative president like an FDR or Lyndon Johnson. I think it was the debt ceiling crisis last summer that made him realize that he was going to have to be a, as Doris said, a TR (Theodore Roosevelt) president using executive orders to get things done. He couldn't be painted in a re-election cycle in 2012 as a lame duck president."
For more on Obama, former Presidents Bill Clinton, Abraham Lincoln and others, and how greatness in leadership is defined, watch the video in the player above.