|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? What kind of a physical toll does eight years in the White House take on the President? 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.
David Hawk of San Francisco, CA, asks:
I think we should have the opportunity to award a successful President as many terms as he deserves. Why have we taken this option away from ourselves, and what have been the consequences?
Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss reponds:
The 22nd Amendment prohibition against a third term began as a slap especially by Congressional Republicans at Franklin Roosevelt's memory. The result is that second-term Presidents labor under a millstone of instant lame-duck status. I believe it should be repealed, but in the current climate of demand for term limits on Congress and other offices, I doubt that it will be very soon.
Presidential Historian Stephen Ambrose reponds:
The reason the President is limited to two terms is that the Republican Party wanted to punish a dead man. In 1947 the Republicans controlled Congress for the first time since 1931. They had been unable to beat FDR through all those years, but they were able to beat him after he was gone, and did so with the 22nd Amendment. It was a damn fool thing to do, so it was fitting that the Republicans were the first ones to pay a price -- without question Dwight Eisenhower would have run and been reelecting in 1960 save for the 22nd Amendment.
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