|THE SECOND TIME AROUND|
An exploration of Presidential Second Terms
in this forum:
What advice would Eisenhower give Clinton about how to have a successful second term? How does the "lame duck syndrome" effect the workings of the Presidency? What kind of a physical toll does eight years in the White House take on the President? Should Americans have the opportunity to award a successful President a third term? Why didn't Truman and Johnson run for second terms? Viewer comments
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December 23, 1996: A NewsHour panel of historians looks at historical second terms.
December 20, 1996: President Clinton announces the new cabinet members who will join him for his second term.
December 6, 1996: Perspective on foreign policy and second term presidents comes from a panel of historians.
Stephen Ambrose looks at the formative years of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Character Above All investigates the role of character in the American presidency.
Doug Raven of Silver City, NM, asks:
When Ike made his famous Military Industrial Complex speech near the end of his Presidency, it seemed an abrupt departure for someone who beat Stevenson on the Strength of hard-line anti-Communism and similar policies. Had he always harbored concerns about where the Cold War escalation might be taking America and mankind, and was only safe to say something near the end of his public service, or did the speech represent a change of heart for the former General?
Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss reponds:
The reason why the Military Industrial Complex speech seemed such a surprise was that while Eisenhower had blocked defense increases demanded by his opponents, he had done little to educate the public about why this was sound policy. Had Eisenhower done more about this during his term, he might have made it more difficult for Kennedy, once in office, to undertake what was then the largest peacetime buildup in human history.
Presidential Historian Stephen Ambrose reponds:
At times in the 1950's Ike was the only man trying to hold down defense expendures. Stevenson ran against him in 1956 on a so-called "bomber gap" issue, and Kennedy made the "missile gap" the centerpiece of his 1960 campaign. When he warned against the military-industrial complex in his Farewell Speech, he was acting consistently with his position through his eight years in office.
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