Most presidents have not excelled in any way so as to warrant being a favorite person, to me. It takes a certain cunning in foresight for the nation and diplomatic prowess to be considered a good president and more often than not many of them simply don't deliver on that. I guess I admire harsh men for the most part, as long as I think their policies are worth pressing. To that end, Andrew Jackson is someone I consider a good president despite being a very deplorable human being. His centralization of power in the time that he served helped to administrate the growing country and while that effect also managed to be very bad for treatment of native Americans, his actions created an ambitious nation and shifted the paradigm of political discussion in the country.
My personal favorite would be much less decisive though, I think. Eisenhower was a moderate president who didn't get much love during his time in office but looking back his policies are among the better I've seen out of his country's politicians. His support of sciences in the US as well as creation of NASA and expansion of intelligence operations was integral to establishing the US as a force that was modern and intelligent on top of being militarily strong. Perhaps the forefront of this is his creation of ARPA, an organization that continues to excel in the very edges of science and technology, and is responsible for the framework of many things we enjoy today [such as the Internet]. Among other things he strengthened our Interstate systems and increased social security while keeping to the idea of a mostly free private sector. There were recessions during his presidency but in the end inflation was not increased and unemployment was lowered.
Still, even as my favorite I have to admit Eisenhower failed in some aspects. His harsh anti-immigration laws were unnecessary and prejudicial which is odd considering he ordered federal troops to protect desegregated students in Arkansas right around the same time this legislation was enacted. His Cold War policy was also unsatisfactory, though that is inevitable given that MAD was considered the correct strategy for most of this part of history. I'll grant that he did manage to stem many conflicts that he could have easily pushed American fingers into had he wished -- something that can't be said of our current president.
However one of his most enduring legacies was his farewell address where he pleaded for Americans to be cautious of a growing military-industrial complex. Perhaps he had an epiphany as the Cold War went on and stockpiles of nuclear armament grew on both sides. Perhaps it was just lip service. Whatever the reason, his warning is just as relevant today as ever. The military-industrial complex is a dangerous aspect of economics in the world, this isn't limited to United States dealings. At the end of the day, I think Ike should be remembered if only for this reason -- this message should be be forgotten.