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The W - Current Events & Politics - What if....presidents could serve longer than 8 years?
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Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 5 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
Here's an interesting bit of revisionist history. Imagine that Congress had never passed the two-term limit (also known as the "Republicans Bitter Over FDR" rule) on presidential terms. How would history be different?

* Dwight Eisenhower. I don't know much about the guy, but he seemed popular enough to perhaps beat JFK in 1960. People forget that JFK only got a narrow win over Richard Nixon in '60, and against an incumbent president...well, who knows. It's probably better off for the world in general (and for Oliver Stone's career) that ol' Dwight didn't get a third term; a military-minded commander in chief wouldn't have been the best to handle the Bay of Pigs.

* Ronald Reagan. Popular enough to beat Dukakis, though Bush Sr. probably would've been running the show from the behind the scenes anyway, what with the onset of Reagan's Alzheimer's disease.

* Bill Clinton. Would've wiped the floor with Dubya, no question about it. It's interesting to speculate how Clinton would've handled 9/11 and the subsequent "war on terrorism," or even if such a term would be invoked.



"If you go out with a girl and they say she has a great personality, she's ugly. If they tell you a guy works hard, he can't play a lick. Same thing." -- Charles Barkley
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MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 3 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.02
Some counters: Dwight, while pretty popular most of his first term, ran into a pretty good-sized recession in his second, and wouldn't have been a shoe in.

Reagan would have probably beat Dukakis (I can't believe I just admitted that), but would have been much more vulnerable than Bush Sr. over Iran-Contra. Of course, you have to keep the axiom "the more it actually matters, the less the media cares about it" in mind, so maybe it wouldn't have been a big deal at all. And it would have meant no pardons for John Poindexter et. al., so he wouldn't be running the total information awareness project right now. I don't think he would have run though. And if he had won, it wouldn't have been Bush Sr., it would have been those really scary cadre of criminals running things. Oops, I'm sorry, I forgot Republican Moral Relativism here. It's not really illegal if you say you did it because you love your country.

I don't think Clinton would have wiped the floor with W. I don't think he would have even run. It would have been interesting to watch though.

You've got to remember, Presidents could serve as long as they liked until FDR, and the first 30 in a row chose not to even run for a third term. I don't think it would happen very often. But it's a good thing we've got that rule now, as I'm sure Jr. would keep running as long as he could keep scaring people into thinking he's the only thing stopping the evildoer of the week from nuking us.



It seems that I am - in no particular order - Zack Morris, John Adams, a Siren, Aphrodite, Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel, Amy-Wynn Pastor, Hydrogen, Spider-Man, and Boston.
DMC
Liverwurst








Since: 8.1.02
From: Modesto, CA

Since last post: 3477 days
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#3 Posted on
Moe makes some good points. Historians typically try to stay away from "what if" kinds of games because they essentially prove nothing, although you will see books like that at the local Barnes and Noble on occasion. Military history seems to be a popular ground for what if theorists.

DMC



Proverbs 9:8
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1271 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Remember this about Clinton. Clinton would never have been president because had there been no Amendment, Reagan would still be Prez, Alzheimers an all!



What kind of disjointed society do we live in if Merry Christmas is Politically Incorrect?
redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

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#5 Posted on
I will say something nice about King Francis I running for a 4th term in 1944: If he didn't run, Wallace would have become president, thus becoming the first complete socialist that was American President, and probably causing the US to become a welfare state like Britain became after the war.



I want you to know, I agree with everything I've just said.
TheCow
Landjager








Since: 3.1.02
From: Knoxville, TN

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#6 Posted on
Of course, the main reason why the amendment was passed in the first place is because it was (previous to FDR) generally accepted that people would only serve 2 terms, as the country's 1st president only served two. However, due to extrenuating circumstances, FDR felt compelled to seek reelection in '40 (and later '44).

I always thought that Congress just wanted to preserve the precedent set by Washington of serving two terms, not as a knock against FDR.

Of course, if you really want to have some fun with this, that amendment only prohibits two consecutive terms, so in theory, Clinton could run again in 2004. (However, the only President to do so was Cleveland, I think, so this is more precedent too... not to mention the rigors of having that job for 12 years would be insane. I doubt it would happen.)

Well, the thing about Reagan is this. We all know that he's got Alzheimers; at some point, they would've invoked the "unable to do duties" clause in the Constitution (12th Amendment?), which means that G.W. Sr. would've been President. Assuming Clinton ran opposite him (and won), then I'm reasonably sure that Clinton would be in office right now (even if he decided to only take two terms... I'm projecting '96 as the Bush - Clinton election).







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redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

Since last post: 481 days
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#7 Posted on

    Originally posted by TheCow
    Of course, the main reason why the amendment was passed in the first place is because it was (previous to FDR) generally accepted that people would only serve 2 terms, as the country's 1st president only served two. However, due to extrenuating circumstances, FDR felt compelled to seek reelection in '40 (and later '44).

    I always thought that Congress just wanted to preserve the precedent set by Washington of serving two terms, not as a knock against FDR.

    Of course, if you really want to have some fun with this, that amendment only prohibits two consecutive terms, so in theory, Clinton could run again in 2004. (However, the only President to do so was Cleveland, I think, so this is more precedent too... not to mention the rigors of having that job for 12 years would be insane. I doubt it would happen.)

    Well, the thing about Reagan is this. We all know that he's got Alzheimers; at some point, they would've invoked the "unable to do duties" clause in the Constitution (12th Amendment?), which means that G.W. Sr. would've been President. Assuming Clinton ran opposite him (and won), then I'm reasonably sure that Clinton would be in office right now (even if he decided to only take two terms... I'm projecting '96 as the Bush - Clinton election).






Cleveland had non-consecutive terms, yes. However, he lost the election in between, so he overall only served 8 years.



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calvinh0560
Boudin rouge








Since: 3.1.02
From: People's Republic of Massachusetts

Since last post: 562 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Bill Clinton can not run again. The maximum number of years a person can be president now is 10 years (2 8-year terms and 1 2-year period if you are VP and must become president)
Pool-Boy
Lap cheong








Since: 1.8.02
From: Huntington Beach, CA

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#9 Posted on
All the debate about what kind of "human being" Clinton is aside, I think it is safe to say that he is indeed a man who really loves being in the spotlight. I have often wondered why he has not attached himself to some young up-and-comer, and ran as a VP.... Nothing illegal about that, he is still close to power (If not actually in power) and can lord over the Senate...



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Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 8 hours
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54

    All the debate about what kind of "human being" Clinton is aside, I think it is safe to say that he is indeed a man who really loves being in the spotlight. I have often wondered why he has not attached himself to some young up-and-comer, and ran as a VP.... Nothing illegal about that, he is still close to power (If not actually in power) and can lord over the Senate...


Given how most of the candidates that got the rub from Clinton in the Congressional/Senate races performed, this would be the kiss of death for a young candidate.





"If you go out with a girl and they say she has a great personality, she's ugly. If they tell you a guy works hard, he can't play a lick. Same thing." -- Charles Barkley
vsp
Andouille








Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 3035 days
Last activity: 249 days
#11 Posted on
The last sentence of the 12th Amendment to the Constitution:

But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

throws a large monkey wrench into that idea.

Now, if you go by an incredibly strict and literal reading of the Constitution and its Amendments, a Clinton Veep-hood may be theoretically legal. Clinton is "constitutionally eligible" according to the citizenship, age and residency requirements in Article II, Section 1. He is disqualified by the 22nd Amendment from being elected to the Presidency a third time. If Clinton was the Veep and something happened to the President, could he assume the Presidency without being directly elected to the office?

It all depends on how literally the Supreme Court would interpret the word "elected" as it relates to Article II and the 12th and 22nd Amendments, or whether they would determine that the 22nd Amendment is an eligibility requirement in and of itself.

EDIT: The interpretation could lead to equally convoluted debates about ex-Presidents being elected to or appointed to other offices in the Presidential line-of-succession, in the extraordinarily unlikely event that high-level US officials were wiped out or resigned en masse. If Clinton was named Secretary of Veteran Affairs and a meteor subsequently whacked the President, Veep, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the rest of the Cabinet, could he _then_ legally assume the Presidency?

The Clinton's-body-count conspiracy nuts could have a field day with these theories.

(edited by vsp on 2.1.03 0905)


"When I feel depressed, I sit under a willow tree by a cool river, and imagine that I am strangling a duck." -- Kotaro Sarai
redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

Since last post: 481 days
Last activity: 481 days
#12 Posted on

    Originally posted by vsp
    The last sentence of the 12th Amendment to the Constitution:

    But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

    throws a large monkey wrench into that idea.

    Now, if you go by an incredibly strict and literal reading of the Constitution and its Amendments, a Clinton Veep-hood may be theoretically legal. Clinton is "constitutionally eligible" according to the citizenship, age and residency requirements in Article II, Section 1. He is disqualified by the 22nd Amendment from being elected to the Presidency a third time. If Clinton was the Veep and something happened to the President, could he assume the Presidency without being directly elected to the office?

    It all depends on how literally the Supreme Court would interpret the word "elected" as it relates to Article II and the 12th and 22nd Amendments, or whether they would determine that the 22nd Amendment is an eligibility requirement in and of itself.

    EDIT: The interpretation could lead to equally convoluted debates about ex-Presidents being elected to or appointed to other offices in the Presidential line-of-succession, in the extraordinarily unlikely event that high-level US officials were wiped out or resigned en masse. If Clinton was named Secretary of Veteran Affairs and a meteor subsequently whacked the President, Veep, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the rest of the Cabinet, could he _then_ legally assume the Presidency?

    The Clinton's-body-count conspiracy nuts could have a field day with these theories.


    (edited by vsp on 2.1.03 0905)






I think the Henry Kissinger/Madeline Albright principle would go into effect in those circumstances, in which the office holder would be ineligible for the Presidency, thus the right of successsion would move to the next person in line.



I want you to know, I agree with everything I've just said.
Pool-Boy
Lap cheong








Since: 1.8.02
From: Huntington Beach, CA

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#13 Posted on
Well, technically, according to the Laws of France, Clinton could possibly become the President over there- I mean, their law dictates that only natural citizens of France can become president, but as he is (was?) from Arkansas, there is a loophole that any person from a former territory of France can become a natural citizen. If he took that route and run, he is a big enough name over there that he might have a shot of winning.
Now wouldn't that be weird....



My attempt at a webpage


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redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

Since last post: 481 days
Last activity: 481 days
#14 Posted on

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    Well, technically, according to the Laws of France, Clinton could possibly become the President over there- I mean, their law dictates that only natural citizens of France can become president, but as he is (was?) from Arkansas, there is a loophole that any person from a former territory of France can become a natural citizen. If he took that route and run, he is a big enough name over there that he might have a shot of winning.
    Now wouldn't that be weird....





As much as I dislike Clinton, I wouldn't wish getting stuck leading the French on him.



I want you to know, I agree with everything I've just said.
TheCow
Landjager








Since: 3.1.02
From: Knoxville, TN

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#15 Posted on
See, but that means that Clinton would want to lead the French....

and I don't think that anyone who was formerly President of the US would ever be that insane.

(And oops on the 10-year thing. Also, I knew Cleveland served a total or 8 years, but it was before FDR, so it was largely irrelevant.)







Which Neglected Mario Character Are You?

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I would think a cocker spaniel bites more people than your average pit bull. Besides, pit bulls are pussy dogs anyhow, we all know Sharpei's are the baddest dogs on the planet!
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