President Obama's vow that he'd rather be a "really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president" made conservative bloggers jump for joy. There are some unfortunate echoes about the quote, with Obama facing from his own party over his "appalling" spending freeze, conjuring up memories of the ill-fated Herbert Hoover. Given such a precedent, is it even possible, as Jay Tea at Whizbang asks, to be a "good" one term president?
The rule has been if you're a good president, you get a second term. If you're not, you don't. We simply don't do "really good" one-term presidencies. Look at history. Who have been our one-term presidents? Could any of them be considered ‘great?'
Tea breezes over other one-term presidents from the past 100 years:
George H. W. Bush. Done in one. History is being a bit kinder, but I remember that election cycle. He was fired. And there was a certain justification. (I speak as someone who voted for him both times, and lent my underage support to him in 1980.) Jimmy Carter. 'Nuff said. Gerald Ford. See Bush, above. Herbert Hoover. Warren Harding. William Taft.
Despite supposedly uttering his own presidential death knell on ABC, what if Obama is right? As Tea asks, is there such thing as a good one-term president? Or are his goals at odds?
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