The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 20, 2013 · Page A06
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page A06

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Page A06
Start Free Trial

A6 THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER SUNDAY, JAN. 20, 2013 B PHILLY.COM The Toll of the Presidency A look at how the recent two-term presidents have physically aged while serving in the Oval Office. 111 2008 Barack Obama 2012 PI A -X Bill Clinton 1968 Richard Nixon 1973 1981 Ronald Reagan 1988 1992 2000 2000 George W. Bush 2008 Obama looks to heroes for inspiration r , , .4! r - ri'V' 10Wk ,,-- , , .447- ,,, , , A , Ill I or' , , . ' I A,' IIIII 5,- iik 4' c II ' , k N.,. 'N h --...Z., &. , ,-4'1. Penning his inaugural address, he has two great American leaders in mind Lincoln and King. By Julie Pace and Nedra Pickier ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON President Obama has been looking to historians for guidance on how to shape his second inaugural's words into a speech for the ages, eager to make good use of his twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity to command the world's attention. He will take the oath of office Sunday in an intimate White House ceremony witnessed by family, and then again Monday at the Capitol before a crowd of hundreds of thousands on the National Mall. Washington will also play host to the traditional inaugural parade and formal balls Monday, as well as a day of service Saturday that kicks off the festivities. But it's Obama's inaugural address that will be the centerpiece of the three-day affair. The president will seek to turn the page on a first term consumed by economic turmoil and set an optimistic tone for four more years that will help define his legacy. The president has been work By Tom Raum ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON Second presidential terms are never easy even for George Washington. More often, they are fraught with peril, frequently marred by scandal, failure, hubris, and burnout, and souring relations with Congress. President Obama acknowledges the dangers of overreach but vows to steer cautiously. The odds are against him. He's the 20th U.S. president to serve all or parts of two terms. Most of the others have encountered setbacks and frustrations. He's also the third in a row to win a second four-year term. Both predecessors stumbled. President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House over lying about an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, although the Senate declined to remove him from office. President George W. Bush failed to get a big Social Security overhaul through Congress and was slammed for his handling of Hurricane Katrina and growing voter anxiety over the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. From Inauguration Day, a second-term president's influence and power begin to ebb. "It's called fatigue, people burn out. Typically, the top people are recruited for the first term. For the second term, you kind of go to the bench," said Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University. "It's a little less illustrious than the starting lineup. You're going to get more people perhaps a little less sure-footed. That's putting it, perhaps, mildly." There's something of a political Continental Divide with second terms. At some point everybody's attention starts flowing in the other direction as those in both parties start shifting their focus to the next election. Also, Obama sets out against a backdrop of fiscal showdowns that will come to a head in March. And some of his top second-term goals such as immigration and tax-code overhaul, gun control, and climate-change legislation come as grim budget realities cast a long shadow over what he can accomplish. History is littered with troubled second terms. Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace. Ronald Reagan's second term was marred by the Iran-Contra guns-for-hostages scandal. Even George Washington had an ugly second term. His backing of the Jay Treaty expanding trade ties with Revolutionary War foe Britain divided the na A worker cleans the bulletproof glass that surrounds the inaugural platform outside the U.S. Capitol. ANDREW HARRER Bloomberg News ing on his speech since early December, writing out draft after draft on yellow legal pads, aides say. He's read several second-term inaugural addressed delivered by his predecessors. And last week, he invited a small hon. Many leaders including future president Thomas Jefferson challenged Washington. Jefferson called the treaty a "monument of folly." Angry crowds gathered outside Washington's house and talk simmered of impeachment. Franklin D. Roosevelt was able to win four terms but had a tumultuous second one despite a 1936 reelection landslide. His effort to expand and pack the Supreme Court with ideological allies was soundly rebuffed by Congress. But second terms don't have to be failures and Obama won't necessarily succumb. William Galston, a domestic policy adviser in the second Clinton administration, said the notion of a second-term jinx or curse is an over-simplification because "a lot of presidents have trouble in their first terms" and don't get reelected. And second-term achievements such as Clinton's need to be weighed along with setbacks, he said. Galston also suggested some things may be easier for Obama in his second term given the dynamics of his re-election victory such as immigration and tax-code overhaul. He has already gotten Congress to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, something he couldn't do earlier. Clinton's second term? "I would judge it as an incomplete success. And its incompleteness is largely his own fault," said Galston, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. In his book Presidential Power in Troubled Second Terms, presidential scholar Alfred Zacher concluded that only one president had a truly better second term than his first: James Madison, president from 1809-1817. In Madison's first term, the still-new nation was drawn back into armed conflict with Britain in the War of 1812. But in Madison's second term, the U.S. scored a dramatic victory in the Battle of New Orleans and the war ended with the Treaty of Ghent. Madison's popularity surged. Seven others had OK second terms despite setbacks, Zacher wrote, most recently Dwight Eisenhower, Reagan, and Clinton. Reagan, despite Iran-Contra, oversaw a major 1986 simplification of the tax code and the unraveling of the Soviet Union in his second term. Clinton learned how to reach across the aisle to deal with Republicans on welfare overhaul and deficit reduction and left office with an annual budget surplus an achievement no other president since Andrew Jackson can claim. group of historians to the White House to discuss the potential and the pitfalls of second-term inaugurals. Heading into his speech, Obama does have history on his mind, particularly two of the In second terms, Presidential Terms Barack Obama is the 17th person to be elected twice to the office of president of the United States. Grover Cleveland was the only president to be elected to two nonconsecutive terms. Franklin Delano Roosevelt running country was the only one elected more than twice, dying less than three months after his fourth inauguration. Never elected: Five men served as president without ever being electec to that position. Two Andrew Johnson and Chester A. Arthur can get trickier succeeded presidents who were assassinated. Two John Tyler and Millard Fillmore took the oath of office after a sitting president died a natural causes. Gerald Ford is the only man to serve in the Oval Office Never elected: Five men served as president without ever being elected to that position. Two Andrew Johnson and Chester A. Arthur succeeded presidents who were assassinated. Two John Tyler and Millard Fillmore took the oath of office after a sitting president died of natural causes. Gerald Ford is the only man to serve in the Oval Office without ever being elected president or vice president Richard Nixon appointed Ford vice president after Spiro Agnew resigned in 1973 after being charged with accepting bribes. 1 I Elected 2 or more times ITALIC: Died in office BOLD: Assassinated No. Name Years served Elected Words in address 1 George Washington 1789-1797 2 1,419 135 Shortest 2 John Adams 1797-1801 1 2,321 3 Thomas Jefferson 1801-1809 2 1,721 2,196 4 James Madison 1809-1817 2 1,191 5 James Monroe 1817-1825 2 3,421 6 John a Adams 1825-1829 1 2,911 7 Andrew Jackson 1829-1837 2 1,125 1,172 8 Martin Van Buren 9 William H. Harrison 10 John Tyler 11 James K. Polk 12 Zachary Taylor 13 Millard Fillmore 14 Franklin Pierce 15 James Buchanan 16 Abraham Lincoln 17 Andrew Johnson 1865-1869 19 Rutherford B. Hayes 20 James A. Garfield 21 Chester A. Arthur 22 Grover Cleveland 23 Benjamin Harrison 24 Grover Cleveland 25 William McKinley 1837-1841 1841 1841-1845 1845-1849 1849-1850 1850-1853 1853-1857 1857-1861 1861-1865 18 Ulysses S. Grant 1869-1877 1877-1881 1881 1881-1885 1885-1889 1889-1893 1893-1897 1897-1901 1897: First inaugaral speech recorded by movie camera 26 Theodore Roosevelt 1901-1909 27 William Howard Taft 1909-1913 28 Woodrow Wilson 1913-1921 29 Warren G. Harding 1921-1923 30 Calvin Coolidge 1923-1929 31 Herbert Hoover 1929-1933 32 Franklin D. Roosevelt 1933-1945 Only president elected more than twice 1945 inauguration held on the White House lawn because of Roosevelt's poor health and the ongoing state of war 33 Harry S. Truman 1945-1953 34 Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953-1961 35 John F. Kennedy 36 Lyndon B. Johnson 37 Richard Nixon 38 Gerald Ford 39 Jimmy Carter 40 Ronald Reagan 41 George H.W. Bush 1989-1993 1 42 Bill Clinton 1993-2001 2 1997: First inaugural speech streamed live on the Internet 43 George W. Bush 2001-2009 44 Barack Obama SOURCE: Associated Press 1961-1962 1963-1969 1969-1974 1974-1977 1977-1981 1981-1989 2009- great American leaders he most deeply admires, Abraham Lincoln and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The start of Obama's second term coincides with the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of King's March on Washington, and he has chosen to take the public oath with his hand on both their bibles stacked together. "Their actions, the movements they represented are the only reason it's possible for me to be inaugurated," Obama said of Lincoln and King in a video released Friday by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. "It's also a reminder for me that this country has gone through very tough times before but we always come out on the other side." Aides say the president will touch on some of the challenges he'll take on in a second term but won't delve deeply into policy objectives. Those details will be saved for his Feb. 12 State of the Union address. But the tone and theme of Monday's speech will set the stage for the policy fights to come. Obama may in some way seek to reference the Connecticut school shooting that pushed gun control to the top of his agenda. He may 1,233 4,456 1 3,832 1 8,445 0 - 1 4,801 1 1,087 0 - 1 3,329 1 2,822 2 3,628 698 0 - 2 1,122 1,337 1 2,481 1 2,975 0 - 1 1,681 1 4,392 1 2,012 2 3,964 2,215 1 983 1 5,426 2 1,699 1,526 1 3,326 1 4,054 1 3,801 4 1,880 1,808 1,340 557 1 2,273 2 2,446 1,655 1 1,364 1 1,492 2 2,123 1,668 0 - 1 1,228 2 2,463 2,564 1 2,283 2 1,580 2,155 2 1,571 2,065 2 2,404 1st on radio 1st televised KEVIN BURKETT Staff also speak of a need to tackle comprehensive immigration reform, another second-term priority, and to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan. Obama's speech won't be overly political. But aides said he will make the point that while the nation's political system doesn't require politicians to resolve all of their differences, it does require Washington to act on issues where there is common ground. And he will speak about how the nation's core principles can still guide a country that has changed immensely since its founding. The president was still working on his speech heading into inauguration weekend. He's been hammering out the details for many weeks with longtime speechwriter Jon Favreau, who worked with the president on his first inaugural address and nearly every other high-profile speech he's given since. The inaugural ceremonies are a national tradition but not constitutionally required. The 20th Amendment says the president and vice president automatically start their terms at noon on Jan. 20. Obama plans to take the oath officially shortly before noon Sunday in the White House's Blue Room. Oath that all will see is a staged repeat By Michael Doyle MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS WASHINGTON When President Obama raises his hand to take the oath of office Monday in a majestic inauguration ceremony, he will already be 24 hours into his second term. He's first taking the oath in private on Sunday, Jan. 20, the date that the Constitution says one presidential term ends and another begins. The second oath is show business, with theatrical props that include a stack of two Bibles: one used by Abraham Lincoln and one used by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remarkably, for a man elected to only two terms, Obama's staged recitation Monday will mark the fourth time he has sworn the presidential oath. It turns out that some oaths mean more than others, even when the words sound the same. "For most people, they assume it's all ceremonial, and about the trappings of the office," Bruce G. Peabody, an associate professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University, in Teaneck, N.J., said in an interview. "But very few people understand its legal significance." Article II of the Constitution, the part devoted to the executive branch, spells out the 35-word oath to be taken by the president: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." George Washington added the words, "So help me God." It's been tradition ever since. The Constitution further declares that the president will take this oath "before he enter on the Execution of his Office." Here's where it can get confusing. The 20th Amendment, ratified in 1933, adds that the "terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January ... and the terms of their successors shall then begin." A new president's term thus begins automatically at, say, one second past noon on Jan. 20. The new president doesn't have to say a thing. It just happens, courtesy of the Constitution. The same Constitution, though, seemingly also requires the oath before the president exercises presidential powers. In 2009, Obama and Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. verbally stumbled over each other during the Jan. 20 oath-taking. At least one word was said out of sequence, and the result proved confusing enough that the two men repeated the oath ceremony the next day. :11:111111:1111 , , , 1 2 3 2 2 2 2 1 t 1 - z ' I I. 7. --MIMW - - I

What members have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 18,900+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free