Skip to comments.Obama and the Misery of a Second Term
Posted on 09/15/2013 10:50:57 AM PDT by Kaslin
Everyone elected president comes into office modeling himself on some predecessor: Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan. But those who win re-election eventually end up wondering whether they should have emulated James K. Polk instead. Why? Because he promised to serve only one term, and he stuck to it.
Barack Obama is probably reaching that stage about now. Ten months after concluding a victorious campaign, he finds himself with a public approval rating of 44 percent. That's down 10 points since December -- and the same as that of George W. Bush at this point in his presidency.
Obama's threat to attack Syria has put him at odds with Congress and the public. By last weekend, The Washington Post reported that "a majority of House members are now on the record as either against or leaning against authorizing President Obama to use military force."
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on the eve of his Tuesday TV address found that only 28 percent of Americans approved of his handling of the matter. Public support for the proposed attack, says Gallup, is lower than for any U.S. war in the past two decades.
The numbers reflect a couple of facts that are largely beyond his control. The first is that after 12 years of nonstop fighting in distant lands, Americans are sick of war. The second is that after nearly five years of watching him in the White House, many are also tired of Obama.
This is a common consequence of protracted exposure. Most TV series don't last more than five years -- and TV series don't air seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. There have been several new iPhone models since Obama was first elected. If you bought a suit or a dress five years ago, it's no longer the epitome of fashion.
Facing the aftermath of re-election is a challenge for the people in the administration, as well as the people they serve. Top aides burn out or cash in, leaving the White House to find replacements, who may not enjoy the same trust or access. Presidents run out of ideas. If they have any left over, they're even less likely to be able to get them through the second time around.
Scandals also have a tendency to erupt in the second term, and the IRS targeting of tea party groups arrived this year right on schedule. All this comes before the midterm congressional elections, which typically bring losses to the party in the White House. Republicans are expected to enlarge their House majority and could capture the Senate.
Obama's honeymoon with Democratic liberals is a fading memory. Some are disillusioned by the National Security Agency surveillance, some oppose an attack in Syria, and most of them gag at the thought of Larry Summers taking over the Federal Reserve.
While most presidents try to add new achievements in their second terms, Obama is still wrangling with Congress over the central one of his first term. The House has voted some 40 times to undo Obamacare, and some members want to force a government shutdown if necessary to attain that goal.
So the president may get to relive the exquisite torture of battling Congress over the debt ceiling. Republicans show no inclination to pass the immigration reform he champions. The economy has been lousy for his entire presidency and shows every indication of staying that way.
Foreign affairs are no ray of sunshine. Vladimir Putin may have spared Obama a war in Syria, but Obama will have to take care to avoid being scammed in the deal on Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons. He has to extricate the U.S. military from Afghanistan without unleashing chaos.
North Korea reportedly has restarted a nuclear reactor to make fuel for additional nuclear weapons. Sometime in the next three years, Obama may have to decide whether to carry out a massive strike to prevent Iran from acquiring the bomb. It's enough to make a guy wish he were free to focus on his presidential library.
At the end of the brilliant 1970 biographical film "Patton," Gen. George Patton recalls that when a Roman conqueror returned home to bask in adulation, a slave rode along in his chariot, whispering, "All glory is fleeting." Obama needs no one to remind him. By now, he probably says it in his sleep.
His first term was at least as miserable as the second. IMHO
Historians will praise Obama for his consistency.
” ... after 12 years of nonstop fighting in distant lands, Americans are sick of war.”
Particularly when Big Bro’s actions say things like, we are not at war with al-quaeda, they are our ally.
We’re sick of al-Obama.
But if I knew I only had an hour to live, I would want to live it now; an hour over the last few years has seemed like an eternity.
Too bad that the difference between democrat voters and Republican voters is: democrats will defend and keep voting democrat at ALL costs - even if it harms them personally. It is THEIR TEAM!!!
At least Republican voters mostly have the decency to get mad at Republican politicians who lie, break promises, fail the platform and do stupid things. WE call them out first and pull our votes from such swine.
democrats would vote obama in AGAIN if they get the chance.
First, they always suggest that some historically inevitable law is in play that mere human beings cannot change or control.
I thought we settled that argument with the destruction of Communism in the last century?
Second, they always suggest that presidents are driven to seek a second term by vanity or by judgment destroying narcissism.
Obama may be narcissistic, but foremost, he is driven by a racial and socialist political vision for America.
You think he is bad, wait for two terms of Hillary.
Let’s trade the NYT for Pravda.
We’ll be getting more more honesty and intellect.
They’ll be getting low IQ lying sleazebags right out of the Obamadork administration (or soon to be IN the Obamadork administration).
Sad to say, the above - while written in jest - is true.
Perhaps it’s not jesting after all.
No matter how many times, or how loudly we explain it to the left, they're going to keep insisting that Republicans want to shut the government down to defund Obamacare.
They're either willfully uninformed about the Republicans' real plan, which is to fund the government EXCEPT for Obamacare, or they're just LYING to the public as usual.
Second terms are always difficult, for anybody. Many will begin to be called lame-ducks right after their re-election.
Perhaps what we need is a single-term presidency, for 6 year max. But, after the first 4 years, the people should be allowed to have a “vote of confidence” to see if the president should be allowed to finish out his full term of six years. After 4 years, and even before, the people would know whether to toss out the “bum” or not. And, the president would be forced, “kind of”, to perform in the first 4 years to please the people. 8 years is too long for a president, and most of the last term is really unproductive wrangling with his opposition.
I doubt whether Obama is questioning whether he should have followed Polk’s advice.
Why would Obama be miserable? He gets four more years to do what he loves best - destroy Amerikkka, party and play golf, all at our expense.
Good article Kaslin.
Hillary! will set us free, just wait and see!
He’s increasingly offensive to the Country, so it seems.
“If you bought a suit or a dress five years ago, it’s no longer the epitome of fashion.”
This is true and all those pathetic clowns who swooned over Obama five or six years ago were not the epitome of fashion either, they were the epitome of the uninformed, unrealistic, naive and willfully ignorant. Many of them apparently still are.
“democrats would vote obama in AGAIN if they get the chance.”
Yes, they would, anyone who was capable of doing the right thing has left the Rat party long ago, those who still proudly wear the D are either incapable of clear thinking or they have an evil agenda or both. I am, like many others, totally disillusioned with the GOP but there is no way I would ever move to the Rat party, my unhappiness with the Republican party is because they act more and more LIKE the Rat party. If I go to the polls in 2014 I may go to vote for Daffy Duck.
Especially when the traitor in the White House is supporting our enemies.
This is like the Clinton Serbia debacle all over again.
Unfortunately, that bodes ill for the United States, as many will attempt to capitalize on the weakness of the President.