News / USA

Obama Hopes to Break 2nd Term Jinx

Obama Hopes to Break 2nd Term Jinxi
|| 0:00:00
X
Jim Malone
November 20, 2012 10:04 PM
President Barack Obama is now preparing for a second four-year term after his re-election victory earlier this month. But as VOA National correspondent Jim Malone reports, second terms have not always been kind to recent U.S. presidents.

Obama Hopes to Break 2nd Term Jinx

TEXT SIZE - +
— President Barack Obama is preparing for a second four-year term after his re-election victory.  But second terms have not always been kind to recent U.S. presidents.

In the wake of a rousing victory on election night, Obama vowed to learn from supporters and critics alike in his second term.

“And whether I earned your vote or not I have listened to you, I have learned from you and you have made me a better president," said Obama. "I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.”

Republicans are already adapting to the reality of a second Obama term, including House Speaker John Boehner.

House Speaker John BoehnerHouse Speaker John Boehner
x
House Speaker John Boehner
House Speaker John Boehner
“Mr. President, this is your moment.  We are ready to be led not as Democrats or Republicans but as Americans," said Boehner.

But if history is any guide, Obama may find his second term more challenging than his first, says former Reagan White House chief of staff Ken Duberstein.

“You know the history of second term presidents at least through World War II has been that inevitably they go off track in their fifth or sixth year," said Duberstein. "Every second term president somehow finds a scandal, finds a difficulty, a mistake, and it gets elevated.”

Richard Nixon won a landslide re-election victory in 1972 but was forced to resign because of the Watergate scandal less than two years later.

Ronald Reagan’s reputation suffered because of the Iran-Contra scandal and Bill Clinton was impeached over the Monica Lewinsky affair.

George W. Bush was harshly criticized for his handling of Hurricane Katrina and unanticipated problems in Iraq.

President Obama says he’s well aware of what some historians call the ‘second term curse.’

“I don’t presume that because I won an election that everybody suddenly agrees with me on everything," said Obama. "I’m more than familiar with all the literature about presidential overreach in second terms.  We are very cautious about that.”

The president is wise to note the second term pitfalls of his predecessors, says University of California historian Matthew Dallek.

“So he’s very conscientious of it and he’s signaling that he wants to be pragmatic and he doesn’t want the ‘world’ [everything], he’s not asking for ‘pie in the sky’ things and that he’s going to work in areas where he thinks that he can work in," said Dallek.

It’s also important for the president to build political relationships, says former Reagan aide Duberstein.

“President Reagan during the Iran-Contra incident, people wanted to believe him," said Duberstein. "He had a reservoir of goodwill.  President Obama to date doesn’t have those strong relationships.  That is something that I think he fundamentally has to address in these initial months of a second term.”

And so even as President Obama looks ahead to an ambitious second-term agenda, analysts expect he will be mindful of some of the mistakes of his predecessors.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Brandt Hardin
November 20, 2012 9:08 PM
Despite all odds, our President prevailed. He still has an uphill battle fighting a Red House which has blocked his every move in an attempt to squash his goals of bringing the Middle Class equal pay, women’s rights, gay rights and affordable healthcare. The Bush Administration drove our economy into a swift nose dive and Obama is still the patsy. Watch conservative hands paint him in Blackface with a visual commentary of how Barack has been bamboozled at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/10/bamboozling-obama.html

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid