Pullman Strike

Troubled Second Terms Of Presidents Common Theme

Sadly, it is much more likely that a second term in the Presidency will downgrade the historical image of that President, no matter how successful he might have been in the first term.

Below is a list of second term Presidents— including those who succeeded to the Presidency during the term, and then were elected on their own—who faced adversity big time in that last term in the Presidency, indicating the negative developments.

Thomas Jefferson—-The Chesapeake Affair, and the Embargo Act.

James Madison—The War of 1812, and burning of the White House and the US Capitol by the British.

Abraham Lincoln—Assassinated within six weeks of starting second term of office.

Ulysses S. Grant—-Exposure of Credit Mobilier Scandal, and the Panic of 1873.

Grover Cleveland (non consecutive terms)—Panic of 1893, Pullman Strike, Cancer surgery on the President’s jaw in secret.

William McKinley—Assassinated after six months of his second term in office.

Woodrow Wilson—-Controversy over Versailles Treaty and League of Nations, the Red Scare, and the stroke which paralyzed him in his last 18 months in the Presidency.

Franklin D. Roosevelt—-Split in the Democratic Party over the Supreme Court “Packing” plan, attempted “Purge” of Southern Democrats, Recession of 1937-1938, and controversy over isolationism and World War II.

Harry Truman—After finishing the term of FDR, facing the Second Red Scare and the Korean War controversy.

Dwight D. Eisenhower—The Soviet move into space with Sputnik, and the U-2 Spy Plane Incident with the Soviet Union.

Lyndon B. Johnson—The escalation of the Vietnam War, and the invasion of the Dominican Republic, both highly controversial.

Richard Nixon—The Watergate scandal and the move to impeach, and the resignation.

Ronald Reagan—The Iran Contra Scandal

Bill Clinton—The Monica Lewinsky Scandal, and the Impeachment Trial.

George W. Bush—The Hurricane Katrina disaster, and the Great Recession.

Let us hope for better fortunes for Barack Obama in his second and last term!

Second Term Presidencies Are Difficult: The Odds Against Success Of Barack Obama!

When one examines two term Presidencies, it is clear that there is a great likelihood of disappointment and failure as the President becomes a “lame duck”, and particularly, so after the midterm elections, as everyone looks forward to the race for his successor in office.

The following Presidents had difficult second terms:

Thomas Jefferson–with the Chesapeake Affair
James Madison–with the British attack on Washington DC during the War of 1812
Ulysses S. Grant–with the Panic of 1873 and exposure of the Credit Mobilier scandals
Grover Cleveland–with the Panic of 1893 and the Pullman Strike
Woodrow Wilson–with the First World War and the Treaty Of Versailles and his stroke
Franklin D. Roosevelt–with the failure of the Supreme Court “Packing” Plan and Recession Of 1937-1938
Harry Truman–with the Korean War and the Red Scare (McCarthyism)
Richard Nixon–with the Watergate Scandal
Ronald Reagan–with the Iran-Contra Scandal
Bill Clinton–with the Monica Lewinsky Scandal and the Impeachment Trial
George W. Bush–with the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Hurricane Katrina and failed attempt to privatize Social Security

The only Presidents to have successful second terms were:

George Washington
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
Theodore Roosevelt
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Barack Obama hopes to bring about:

Immigration Reform Legislation
Gun Control Legislation
Climate Change Legislation
Stability in International Affairs

The likelihood of success is very doubtful, however, with so much division, conflict, turmoil, and polarization, caused by the Tea Party Movement and the Republican control of the House of Representatives.

At most, Obama might be able to promote changes in the judiciary, particularly on the Supreme Court, if vacancies occur, as is expected, but even there, it is assured there will be major battles over every appointment, and the possibility of filibustering nominees.

This reality is already showing itself with the interference and opposition to Susan Rice to be Secretary of State, before she was ever considered for nomination, and now Chuck Hagel, a possible choice for Secretary of Defense, who despite being a Republican, has already built up major opposition in the party that he represented in the Senate for 12 years from the state of Nebraska!

There seems the likelihood that no matter what Obama does or says, he will have vehement opposition, not only during the first two years, but even in his last two years as a “lame duck”, having less influence each month as the Presidential Election Of 2016 approaches!