June 11, 2012

AND YOUNGSTERS WONDER WHY THE RIGHT HATED THE REAGAN PRESIDENCY?:

THE SECOND TERM : What would Obama do if reëlected? (Ryan Lizza, JUNE 18, 2012, The New Yorker)

In November, 1984, President Ronald Reagan was reëlected in a landslide victory over Walter Mondale, taking forty-nine states and fifty-nine per cent of the popular vote. The Reagan revolution was powerfully reaffirmed. Soon after, Donald Regan, the new chief of staff, sent word to a small group of trusted friends and Administration officials seeking advice on how Reagan should approach his last four years in office. It was an unusual moment in the history of the Presidency, and the experience of recent incumbents offered no guidance. No President since Dwight D. Eisenhower had served two full terms. John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Lyndon Johnson, overwhelmed by the war in Vietnam, had declined to run for reëlection in 1968. Richard Nixon resigned less than seventeen months into his second term. Gerald Ford (who was never elected) and Jimmy Carter were defeated. By the nineteen-eighties, it had become popular to talk about the crisis of the Presidency; a bipartisan group of Washington leaders, with Carter's support, launched the National Committee for a Single Six-Year Presidential Term. [...]

Every President running for reëlection begins to think about his second term well before victory is assured. In early 2009, Rahm Emanuel, Obama's first chief of staff, told me that the White House was already contemplating the Presidency in terms of eight years. He said that it was folly to try to accomplish everything in the first term. "I don't buy into everybody's theory about the final years of a Presidency," Emanuel said. "There's an accepted wisdom that in the final years you're kind of done. Ronald Reagan, in the final years, got arms control, immigration reform, and created a separate new department," that of Veterans Affairs.





Posted by at June 11, 2012 6:47 PM
  

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