“Lame Duck” Presidents

A One Term Presidency For Candidates Nearing 70 Or Over?

With the growing likelihood that we could have two candidates, or even three candidates for the Presidency nearing or over 70, in the Presidential Election of 2016, an argument can be made that we should expect that such candidates agree to a one term Presidency if they win.

One might say why should any Presidential candidate forgo the possibility of a second term, which effectively, would make such a candidate a “lame duck” President?

However, the argument could also be that in the first term of a President, he or she must spend inordinate amounts of time campaigning and strategizing for reelection, when he or she should be focusing on doing what he or she thinks is right and proper for the nation.

Most second term Presidents have great difficulty accomplishing much, as historically, most Presidents have accomplished much more in their first term than their second term.

With older Presidents, the odds of him or her dying in office magnifies, and makes the choice of the Vice Presidential nominee ever more important, as it can be expected that such a Vice President being elevated to the White House is much greater than normal.

It would be a good idea to suggest that a one term pledge might be in order, as the experience of Ronald Reagan, clearly declining in his second term health wise, was a silent crisis in the 1980s, a very worrisome situation.

One might say why is it different for a President than a member of Congress or a Justice on the Supreme Court?  And the answer is that the responsibilities, the burden, the pressures, are far greater on the occupant of the White House than anyone else has.

Most Americans are retired, and at the most working part time, in their 70s, so having a one term limit on Presidents over or near 70 when elected, seems a legitimate alternative!

Second Term Doldrums Hit Obama Presidency As It Did For FDR, Truman, Ike, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, And Bush II!

The second term doldrums have hit the Obama Presidency, and the likelihood of much more being accomplished now seems dim–whether immigration reform, gun regulations, climate change, or anything else.

The same thing happened to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush in their second terms, and for all but Roosevelt and Truman, the 22nd Amendment, limiting terms of office to two terms, has helped contribute to the problem, as a President, even if he wins a massive second term victory, is still, fundamentally, a “lame duck”, since Congress and the news media know he is term limited, and will not be able to run for the Presidency again.

Scandals have harmed all of these Presidents mentioned, in that second term, with the exception of FDR, and foreign policy controversies also affected all of them, except Nixon and Clinton in their second terms in office.

So the controversies swirling today around Barack Obama will cause more focus to begin sooner on the race to replace him in the White House on January 20, 2017!