Environmental Policy

Is George H. W. Bush The “Best” One Term President In American History, Surpassing James K. Polk, And What About Jimmy Carter?

Now that George H. W. Bush is part of American history, the question arises whether he should be judged the “best” one term President in American history.

We have had the following 12 one term elected Presidents who finished their term, but were not given a second term:

John Adams
John Quincy Adams
Martin Van Buren
James K. Polk
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Rutherford B. Hayes
Benjamin Harrison
William Howard Taft
Herbert Hoover
Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush

Eight of them, all but Polk, Pierce, Buchanan, and Hayes were defeated for reelection, with those four choosing not to run, and all of these four, except Polk, very unpopular and aware that they were not wanted to be nominated for another term.

The usual viewpoint has been that James K. Polk, with the acquisition of the American Southwest by war with Mexico, and acquisition of the Pacific Northwest by the Oregon treaty with Great Britain, was the most successful one term President. Labeled an expansionist and an imperialist by many, the fact that he presided over the greatest expansion of US territory since Thomas Jefferson, has helped him to be regarded by scholars as a “successful” President, rated 12 to 14 in scholarly polls.

Now, some are saying that George H. W. Bush may be greater than Polk, due to his foreign policy accomplishments in particular, including the end of the Cold War, the unification of Germany, and the Persian Gulf War, along with his domestic policies of “A Thousand Points Of Light”, and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Some on this list, including Van Buren, Pierce, Buchanan, Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, Taft, and Hoover are seen in a poor light, while J. Q. Adams is seen as not having succeeded in his one term, although a great man, and his father, John Adams, criticized for the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, curbing civil liberties during his term.

The only other one term President who could be seen as competing would be Jimmy Carter, with his Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, the Panama Canal Treaty, his Human Rights advocacy, his creation of new cabinet agencies (Departments of Education, Health And Human Services, Energy), and his exceptional record on the environment, but his negatives, including high inflation, the Iranian hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Cuban Mariel Boat Lift all help to undermine his case.

So, one could argue that Polk and Bush may be competitive as the “best” one term elected President, without a clear cut answer to the question of who was the better President.

It might be best to say that Polk was the best 19th century one term elected President, while Bush was the best 20th century one term elected President, with Jimmy Carter as the runner up in that regard.

Obama Environmental Policy Decision Is Wrong And Must Be Reversed!

The recent oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico must make one think about the recent Obama policy paper on the environment, which had already met mixed reviews.

Earlier this month, Obama had promoted the idea of opening vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline from Maine to central Florida, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the North coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling.

This was said to be good for our energy supply, and safe for the environment, but Obama is totally wrong on this!

The fact that the opposition Republicans applauded this move by the administration is enough to make one realize how wrong headed it is, but the coincidence of this environmental disaster, so soon after, definitely confirms that this is the absolutely incorrect policy!

42,000 gallons a day is pouring right now into the Gulf of Mexico and threatening the coastlines of Florida and the other Gulf states! The risk to the fishing, shrimping and tourism industries, and to the environment in general, is enough reason to stop ALL oil drilling in these waters off the Atlantic and the Gulf!

The oil drilling will NOT solve the energy crisis of the future, and this nation MUST plan for renewable energy sources as the solution for the future!

It is essential for President Obama to recognize this error, and revisit his environmental policy plans!