Aside from megalomania, aside from psychic revenge, aside from lack of anything better to do, why would any sane person want a second term as president of the United States?
If we look all the way back a century and more the performances are generally not good. That’s why I’m for a single term of six years. It avoids the second term curse. Even men who had a good first term take a bad hit, if not worse, in the second. To wit, of those who got reelected:
Obama: So bad, so humiliating for America, the country pulled a 180 and elected Trump. Not exactly a confirmation of Obama’s leadership.
MORE NEWS: Michigan Democrats Come Up with Legislation to Outlaw Republican Dissent With “Hate Speech” Imprisonment and Fines
Bush the Younger: Not as bad as Obama, but the same rule applies. The nation was done with him and his leadership style. In second term midterms he lost control of both the House and Senate for Republicans and the Great Recession starts in 2007.
Clinton: Impeachment over having an affair with Monica Lewinsky and lying about it under oath. Really? He got a big historical demerit for cheating on Hillary? He should have gotten a medal.
Reagan: Iran-Contra. Not that the Gipper wasn’t a great president, he was. But the second term was a letdown from the first. He loses the Senate for the Republicans in the second term.
Nixon: Do we actually have to note it? Watergate, recession, resignation. Ouch.
Honorable Mention: LBJ. A nightmare 1.25 term for him and America. We’re still paying for his mistakes.
Eisenhower: A bit of an exception, as the 50s were a good time in general. Though, the U2 incident (the plane, not the band) and two second term recessions didn’t help matters any.
Truman: Technically not reelected, but served almost all of FDR’s last term so 1948 was close to a second term campaign. He won. Then immediately gets a recession followed by the Korean War. He leaves office very unpopular.
FDR: Where do you even begin? Takes an economy trying to make its way out of the depression and throws it back into the abyss in 1937 right after reelection to a second term. Higher echelons of federal government riddled with incompetent socialists and Soviet spies. But hold on, that’s not fair to blame on his second term, as it was that way from the beginning of his first term.
Coolidge: This man, domestically the greatest American president, is the big exception to the second term curse. How did he pull that off? He stayed the hell out of the way. He actually practiced limited government.
Wilson: And the greatest confirmation of the curse, this guy. His second term started in 1917. We got WWI, the Palmer Raids, and, in a situation we’ve recently become familiar with again, he was a mental invalid who couldn’t be let out in public, lest he embarrass everyone concerned.
Yup, one six year term. Get your job done and exit the stage. With the burden of reelection gone, perhaps presidents could think more about policies and less about politics. Perhaps.
Join the Discussion
COMMENTS POLICY: We have no tolerance for messages of violence, racism, vulgarity, obscenity or other such discourteous behavior. Thank you for contributing to a respectful and useful online dialogue.