In The Log Cabin Myth, Edward Pessen uses this scale to rank the families the presidents grew up in:
Upper Upper Class: The families of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, John Quincy Adams, William Henry Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, Benjamin Harrison, Theodore Roosevelt, Taft and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Straddling the Upper Upper and Lower Upper Classes: Polk and Kennedy.
Lower Upper Class: John Adams, Monroe and Wilson.
On a Plateau Between the Lower Upper and the Upper Middle Classes: Pierce, Hayes, Cleveland, Harding, Coolidge and Truman.
Upper Middle Class: Jackson, Van Buren, Buchanan, Grant, Arthur, McKinley, Hoover, Lyndon Johnson, Ford and Carter.
"True" Middle or Between the Upper and Lower Middle Classes: Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan.
Lower Middle Class: Fillmore, Garfield and Nixon.
Upper Lower Class: Andrew Johnson.
Recent presidents, according to Pessen, have been in relatively lower classes than their predecessors.
"They're still successful, but not the cre me de la cre me. In earlier years, the Upper Upper -- Jefferson, Washington -- were more inclined to play a direct part in politics. By the time of Teddy Roosevelt, politics was considered beneath their level."
And what about Walter Mondale? Pessen places him in the "True" Middle Class -- where President Reagan also resides.