|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? Are Presidents more likely to speak their minds in their second term i.e. Eisenhower and his "Military Industrial Complex" speech? How does the "lame duck syndrome" effect the workings of the Presidency? 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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Online NewsHour Links
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.
Simon Gold of Laramie, WY, asks:
What about the physical toll on a President? Woodrow Wilson had a stroke, Reagan was pretty sick when he left office--is eight years of working at superhuman stress levels deadly? What precautions can we take to make sure our leader is healthy?
Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss reponds:
Presidential disability has changed history in the case of roughly half the Presidents in this century. (Wilson, Harding, FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush.) This requires that we Americans insist on full disclosure of medical histories when candidates run for President. Yes, this is an invasion of privacy, but we invade privacy in other ways (financial, private life, etc.) because of their effect on a Presidency. If there is such full disclosure during a campaign, candidates have a right to expect that the American people will deal with the information in a composed and balanced fashion.
Presidential Historian Stephen Ambrose reponds:
Ike also had a heart attack (1955) and a stroke (1957) while in office. It is a killing job. The public has a right to know the state of a candidate's health, and the President's. But we don't get told. This should be changed by requiring Senate confirmation for the man appointed White House physican.