Flexibility in a President's 2nd Term

The "Flexible" Second Term

"This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility."
- Barack Obama to Dmitry Medvedev, March 26, 2012

George Bush intended to burn through any good will he had when elected to a second term in order to try to do the things, often unpopular, that he thought needed doing. But how many radical things did he really accomplish in that second term? The most radical thing of which I can think was to put a small amount of one's social security withholding into the private sector. We can debate the soundness of this idea, but it got a drubbing.

Now it is Obama's turn.

He already has Obamacare coming down the pike (hits 2014?). That is not a 3rd rail he'll need to deal with in term two. But he has gotten some of the Bush tax cuts ended without cutting domestic spending. There is the belief that he can and should have taxes continue to rise without corresponding domestic spending cuts. No deal making. He won.

Today's Krauthammer states that the Hagel appointment is a statement by the Obama administration. It is that he intends to shrink the role and power of the USA on the world stage.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/337428/meaning-hagel-charles-krauthammer

This has me thinking.

Do US Presidents tend to think of their second terms as time to get radical (no more elections, nothing to lose).

Are there other example of this in the past 60 years? How well do the Presidents do in their second terms actually getting their way? About the Hagel nomination, (The nomination signals to the world Obama's desire to shrink U.S. influence.) is Chuck wrong? What are your thoughts on that nomination?

Hagel has that idea in mind, because the USA is nearly everywhere nowadays. Scaling it back two notches won't hurt its interests that much. The man supported the Iraq war after all when he voted for it, what can I say? He knows the costs of war, he was a soldier himself of the Vietnam campaigns. He looks like a balanced individual, and he knows his military history of the USA. Sometimes words can hurt more than cannon-fire... You can look at the current Iran sanctions for a recent example. Hell, Communist Korea is nothing but a cold-war era army nowadays. I don't see issues in that, the USA could use some time to lick its wounds.

Concerning your idea about presidents thinking they can pull off things more in their second term - yes, to an extent. The houses of parliament still remain in the congress. However, what Obama can do is plans that the public doesn't like - such as cuts to spending and raising taxes. You can already see that in the recent "fiscal cliff" deal Obama had made many cuts to welfare plans and didn't raise taxes - he kept the tax cuts Bush made during his presidency mostly intact. This gives him a blank check to do shit that the public doesn't like, but it doesn't give him a blank check to do everything because there is the house of representatives and senate he needs to consider.

Err... about George Bush... did we forget about his foreign policy, and shady intelligence collecting tactics? How about the deregulation of bank activity and the private sector? Or did that fly unnoticed under the radar? Maybe it was in his first term, I can't remember it that well. I didn't follow politics in the USA at the time.

Well it makes sense in theory that a US President would feel less restricted in their second term because they're no longer accountable, but I'm not sure it actually holds true. Bush didn't start any more wars in his second term. Bill Clinton didn't try anything as progressive as his health acre reform plan as far as I'm aware, and I think Reagan raised taxes more than he cut them in his second term.

TheIronRuler:
The houses of parliament still remain in the congress and senate

Is this a mistake or am I just reading it wrong? Because I'm reading it as, "the legislature still remains in the legislature and the upper house".

DJjaffacake:
Well it makes sense in theory that a US President would feel less restricted in their second term because they're no longer accountable, but I'm not sure it actually holds true. Bush didn't start any more wars in his second term. Bill Clinton didn't try anything as progressive as his health acre reform plan as far as I'm aware, and I think Reagan raised taxes more than he cut them in his second term.

TheIronRuler:
The houses of parliament still remain in the congress and senate

Is this a mistake or am I just reading it wrong? Because I'm reading it as, "the legislature still remains in the legislature and the upper house".

.
err, "Parliament" is to the British legislature system, but it can also be called as any country's democratic legislature. What I mean is that 'Parliament', the legislature - or in the USA, congress. What you just quoted was me slipping up with my USA political system knowledge and making a fool out of myself. So yes, it was a mistake.

TheIronRuler:

DJjaffacake:
Well it makes sense in theory that a US President would feel less restricted in their second term because they're no longer accountable, but I'm not sure it actually holds true. Bush didn't start any more wars in his second term. Bill Clinton didn't try anything as progressive as his health acre reform plan as far as I'm aware, and I think Reagan raised taxes more than he cut them in his second term.

TheIronRuler:
The houses of parliament still remain in the congress and senate

Is this a mistake or am I just reading it wrong? Because I'm reading it as, "the legislature still remains in the legislature and the upper house".

.
err, "Parliament" is to the British legislature system, but it can also be called as any country's democratic legislature. What I mean is that 'Parliament', the legislature - or in the USA, congress. What you just quoted was me slipping up with my USA political system knowledge and making a fool out of myself. So yes, it was a mistake.

Yeah I know that, but that's exactly my point. Saying "The [Congress] (legislature) still remains in the Congress (legislature) and Senate (upper house)" doesn't make sense to me. I don't understand how the legislature can be in the legislature and the upper house. Do you mean the power of the legislature still remains in Congress or something?

Y'know, looking through a list of presidents that have had a second term since the law was enacted, there's really not many of them, not until recently. Only Eisenhower and Reagan besides the last 3. But yes, I do believe they have a bit more power and more flexibility in their second term. Both Clinton and Bush did more in their second term, Reagan had enough popularity to do most of what he wanted in either term, and I'm not sure about Eisenhower.

I certainly do think that Obama is stating that change is coming, and he will pursue that change, now that he can focus on doing what he thinks is best.

TheIronRuler:

Err... about George Bush... did we forget about his foreign policy, and shady intelligence collecting tactics? How about the deregulation of bank activity and the private sector? Or did that fly unnoticed under the radar? Maybe it was in his first term, I can't remember it that well. I didn't follow politics in the USA at the time.

The main deregulation of the banks was passed by Clinton in 1999. Link

 

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