November 4, 2004


Act Two: Keys to a successful second term. (Fred Barnes, 11/15/2004, Weekly Standard)

WHY DO PRESIDENTS stumble in their second terms? Four reasons. They try to govern without a real agenda, having exhausted their policy initiatives in the first term. Their wisest and most competent aides and advisers leave and are replaced by less talented people. They suffer from bad relations with Congress as a result of past scuffles and disagreements. Or they are brought down by a scandal.

President Bush need not suffer from any of these in his second term. He has an agenda, a combination of leftover issues--such as making his tax cuts permanent--and the reformed entitlements of his new "ownership society." If he acts quickly, Bush can cajole his best advisers into staying another year or two. He can smooth relations with Congress by strategizing with Republican leaders, while also warming to a few Democrats. And he can pray for no scandal. [...]

[T]he Bush agenda is bulging. His unfinished business consists of tax cuts, an energy bill to increase oil and gas production, tort reform, faith-based programs, and filling judgeships with conservatives.

They also typically lose ground in Congress over the course of their first term--President Bush has reversed the historic pattern.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 4, 2004 2:53 PM
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