Tuesday, August 02, 2016

One-Term Presidents

It struck me a few days ago that in the first 20 years of my life, we had 5 Presidents of the US (not counting the few months that Ike was still Pres after I was born):
- Kennedy (assassinated)
- Johnson (declined to run for a second full term)
- Nixon (resigned in disgrace)
- Ford (unelected and lost re-election bid)
- Carter (lost re-election bid)

In the 36 years that followed, we've only had 5 more Presidents:
- Reagan (term-limited)
- Bush the First (lost re-election bid)
- Clinton (term-limited)
- Bush the Second (term-limited)
- Obama (term-limited)

For all of the craziness of the US political scene the past few decades, that's a remarkable run of Presidential stability that I believe is about to come to an end, regardless of the outcome of this election.

Historical economic cycles point to a recession or at least a serious correction coming in the US economy in the next 2-3 years.  The fact that the recovery from the Great Recession has been as slow as it has may push that toward the end of the next president's term, but my expectation is that Hillary will win and have a narrow Senate Dem majority for 2 years before the Republicans take the Senate back in the mid-terms.  After the economy takes a hit in 2018-2019, my guess is that a President Clinton will face a tough challenge from within the party and then lose to the Republican nominee (Cruz?  Rubio?  someone new?).

On the other hand, what happens if The Donald wins?  I have every idea that he has absolutely no interest in actually being president.  I suspect he would wreak serious havoc for two years and then pull a Palin and quit, leaving us with a couple of years of President Pence and paving the way for an Elizabeth Warren Presidency.  (I'm fine with the Warren presidency but a lot of people would be harmed in the 4 years before she would take over.)

That all may sound crazy but look at that 1960-1980 period again and tell me again that it's nuts.  So I will do what I can to get Hillary elected along with as many Democratic Senators as possible and then push like hell for them to make as many moves forward as they can in the short time they'll have to accomplish anything.

Because we won't get another chance for awhile.