Greatest National Leader elimination game (game thread)

Setup thread here: Greatest National Leader elimination game (setup thread) - The Game Room - Straight Dope Message Board. The three-word (or longer) descriptions have been edited as necessary for accuracy, clarity and/or consistency.

In the first elimination round, each player has five votes to cast as he or she sees fit, but cannot cast more than two for a single nominee. The first round will run through Fri. May 21 at noon EST. No vote trading, please - vote on the merits of each nominee. You need not have participated in the setup thread to vote, nor need you vote in the first round to vote in subsequent rounds.

Our list of nominees:

Alexander the Great - Macedonian conqueror, emperor
Alfred the Great - Scholar, warrior, statesman
Cory Aquino - Restored Philippines democracy
Asoka - Early India leader
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - Modernized, ruled Turkey
Attila the Hun - Humble, fearsome conqueror
Caesar Augustus - Founded Roman Empire
David Ben-Gurion - First Israeli PM
Otto von Bismarck - United German kingdoms
Simon Bolivar - Latin America liberator
Gaius Julius Caesar - Roman dictator, general
Charlemagne - Holy Roman Emperor
Winston Churchill - British wartime inspiration
Oliver Cromwell - English republican leader
Cyrus the Great - Great, benevolent conqueror
Charles de Gaulle - Led modern France
David - Conquered the Philistines
Jefferson Davis - Confederate wartime president
Deng Xiaoping - Remade modern China
Elizabeth I of England - Shrewd, determined queen
Frederick II - Ruled 1700s Prussia
Gandhi - Independence through peace
Genghis Khan - Mongol Empire founder
Mikhail Gorbachev - Reformed Soviet Union
Hammurabi - First written laws
Henry V of England - Legendary warrior-king
Adolf Hitler - German Nazi leader
Isabella I of Castille - Unified, developed Spain
Thomas Jefferson - Declaration of Independence
Justinian I - Unleashed Gen. Belisarius
Abraham Lincoln - Won Civil War
Louis XIV - France’s “Sun King”
Nelson Mandela - Overcame imprisonment, triumphed
Mao Zedong - Chinese revolutionary chief
Tomas Masaryk - Czechoslovakia’s founding president
Meiji Emperor - Created modern Japan
Menes - Egypt-uniting pharaoh
Montezuma - Later Aztec leader
Moses - Founded monotheistic religions
Muhammad - United all Arabia
Napoleon I - French expansionist emperor
Nebuchadnezzar II - Babylon’s greatest ruler
Jawaharlal Nehru - Indian prime minister
Rameses II - Egypt’s greatest pharaoh
Franklin Delano Roosevelt - 32nd American president
Peter the Great - Modernized, expanded Russia
Pitt the Elder - Noted British PM
Robert the Bruce - First Scottish king
Anwar El Sadat - Egyptian warrior, peacemaker
Saladin - Muslim leader, warrior
Antonio López de Santa Anna - Mexican nationalist leader
Haile Selassie - Ethiopia’s longtime emperor
Shaka Zulu - United Zulu tribes
Qin Shi Huang - Unified China emperor
Solon - Founded Athenian democracy
Tamerlane the Great - Clever, liberal conqueror
Umar - Expanded Islamic empire
Victoria - Noted British sovereign
Pancho Villa - Mexican revolutionary general
Lech Walesa - Polish leader, inspiration
George Washington - First U.S. president
Duke of Wellington - Statesman, general, gentleman
Wilhelm II - WWI German kaiser

Fidel Castro, whom I’d overlooked, is now disqualified; he’s neither dead (as far as we know) nor out of office for at least ten years, as required in the setup OP. I’ve left in the other somewhat-iffy nominees to permit a more vigorous debate.

Have at it!

My votes:
Queen Victoria: 2 Points
Alexander The Great: 1 Point
Mao Tse-Tung: 1 Point
Meiji Emperor: 1 Point

Adolf Hitler: Nil Point since he’s going to get heaps of votes anyway. :wink:

1 - Napoleon - comprehensively thrashed by Wellington.
1 - Alexander - his empire split on his death.
2 - Wilhelm II - WW1, nuff said.
1 - Adolf Hitler. Might as well give him one point to kick things off.

And just a nitpick: Robert the Bruce wasn’t the first Scottish King.

Jefferson Davis 2
Wilhelm II 2
Wellington 1

Davis was leader of a miserable cause, and lost. Wilhelm II led his country into a war that killed millions of people and that it lost, and lost his dynasty in the process.

My vote on Wellington is in search of an explanation - could someone justify why he’s on this list? It’s not a list of greatest generals or greatest statesmen.

Jefferson Davis - 2
Adolf Hitler - 2
Wilhelm II - 1

All led their countries into disastrous wars, which left the country in ruins. At least Kaiser Bill ended his war with an armistice, not total defeat.

The Duke served as British prime minister in 1828-30 and 1834, which qualifies him under the terms of the OP as a national leader. Just learned from Wiki, he lived long enough to have a daguerrrotype taken in 1844:

I agree with Giles as to my votes:

Adolf Hitler, a genocidal monster who sparked a world war and nearly destroyed his country - 2
Jefferson Davis, who did his level best to split up the country to which he had sworn an oath as a Cabinet member, senator and military officer - 2
Kaiser Wilhelm II, an utter failure forced to abdicate - 1

Fair enough. I’ll let him pass until we’ve cleared out some of the monsters and incompetents, but I’m not inclined to give him full credit for his exploits as a general given that they happened years before he became PM.

Jefferson Davis-2
Moses-1 (Fictional)

Pancho Villa – 2 points (not truly a leader of a nation in my opinion, although I realize there’s reasonable debate on the matter)

Jefferson Davis – 2 points (his country only lasted four years)

Duke of Wellington – 1 point (greatest accomplishments came before he was Prime Minister)

Umm… really? Look down the list and tell me how many were not military leaders or statesmen or both.

Why don’t you have a look at his biography? In addition to being the greatest general and leader of his age, he was later Prime Minister twice, and influenced the whole of Europe.

And he has a style of boots named after him.

Well, yes, but a list of “Greatest Generals” would look very different (and include, say, Belisarius). Since Wellington was actually PM for a while I’ll give him a pass until we get rid of the obvious losers (how does Montezuma not have a vote yet?); I’m not sure how to deal with leaders’ early careers yet (affects ones ranking of, say, Julius Caesar if you say that you’re not going to count anything that comes before his being proclaimed leader).

I’ll give Montezuma a point, just for you. :stuck_out_tongue:

Adolf Hitler - 2pts. Ignoring the whole genocide thing (not that we should), how could he be a great national leader when he was responsible for the literal destruction of the nation he commanded?

Jefferson Davis - 1pt. Same objection, minus the genocide.

Montezuma - 1pt. Ditto.

Louis XIV - 1pt. By the time he died, the writing was on the wall for the monarchy. One could forgive him the failing, but I really think of France’s success as riding on the Peace of Westphalia, which really wasn’t his doing (he was ten at the time.)

He permanently expanded France’s borders, presided over THE continental superpower of its time and established his grandson on the throne of Spain, where his descendants are still enthroned to this day. Also there’s Versailles. Nah, Louis was pretty successful as such things go. He was no Jefferson Davis.

Hitler - 2pts. Pretty epic fail.

Jefferson Davis - 1 pt. Slightly less epic fail.

Montezuma II - 1 pt. Ditto. There are indications Aztec expansion of tribute-paying areas continued during his reign and he may be getting slighted a bit by bad Spanish press. But ultimately he’s a bit less sympathetic to me than Wilhelm II.

Wellington - 1 pt. Great general, but not that terribly impressive as a politician relative to the compeitition. For one thing his “reign” as PM was pretty brief.

King David - 2 - May as well nominate King Arthur
Moses - 2 - or Merlin
Jefferson Davis - 1 - No explanation necessary

Attila the Hun-2 votes
Adolf Hitler-2 votes
Mao Zedong-1 vote

Also EH could you please add two or three last minute additions or is it too late? :frowning:

Jefferson Davis - 2
David - 1
Moses - 1
Wilhelm II - 1

Jefferson Davis 13
Adolf Hitler 11
Wilhelm II 6

Duke of Wellington 3
Moses 3
Alexander the Great 2
David 2
Montezuma 2
Victoria 2
Mao, the Meiji Emperor, Napoleon, Louis XIV - 1 each

The top three are gone; the others remain in the running. As before, each player has five votes to cast as he or she sees fit, but cannot cast more than two for a single nominee. The second round will end at noon EST on Mon. May 24.

Sorry. The nominations were open for a week. Earlier voters might’ve voted for whoever you now have in mind. You and amarone also voted past the noon deadline today. Although I haven’t counted your votes this round, you’re welcome to vote in the next round.

Attila the Hun-2 votes
Mao Zedong-2 votes
Tamerlane-1 vote

Menes - 1
Montezuma - 2
Santa Anna - 2

2 - Robert the Bruce - Achieved little beyond Scotland.
2 - Montezuma - Only known because he was defeated.
1 - Selassie - not in the same class as the rest.