Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

This book got its start a decade ago. Griffin Hathaway, a friend and colleague—not to mention a strong supporter of President Clinton—was trying to divine ways for the president to remain in office beyond the two terms allowed by the Twenty-second Amendment. We discussed some of the possible loopholes and technicalities ...

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Chapter 1 Introduction: Democracy, Power, and Presidential Tenure

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pp. 1-12

In late 2000, soon-to-be-retired President Bill Clinton confessed to what most political observers already knew: that if he were eligible he would have sought a third term as president. Despite losing Democratic control of Congress, jousting with Republicans, and facing an impeachment trial during his two terms in office, Clinton relished ...

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Chapter 2 Executive Tenure in Early American History

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pp. 13-42

Debates over executive tenure in general revolve around concerns over power and democracy and the perceived relationship of tenure to these values. Prior to the debate at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, it was standard to assume that long tenure in an executive office without “rotation” or term limits was inconsistent ...

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Chapter 3 “Sound Precedent”: The Development of the Two-term Tradition

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pp. 43-78

Despite the decision of the convention delegates in favor of unlimited reeligibility, the Whig preference for executive restraint proved resilient, and by the early nineteenth century the two-term tradition would be established. In fact, by the middle of the nineteenth century, the main political parties ...

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Chapter 4 The Tradition Falls: Roosevelt’s Third Term

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pp. 79-100

With the exception of the framers’ original decision against presidential term limitations, the most significant event in the history of the presidential tenure debate is naturally the election of 1940, the first successful challenge to the two-term tradition. Not only was the tradition shattered, but the wheels were set in motion ...

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Chapter 5 The Troubling Case of FDR’s Fourth Term

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pp. 101-123

FDR’s successful reelection of 1944 is often treated almost as an afterthought, unworthy of serious scholarly or critical scrutiny. Indeed, on the surface it is simply an extension of the election of 1940: the country needed Roosevelt in 1940 with war in Europe on the horizon and needed him perhaps even more with the war still on in 1944. ...

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Chapter 6 Tradition Resurgent: The Twenty-second Amendment

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pp. 124-142

The Twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution is among the least discussed of all of our amendments. A simple look at any number of American government or even presidency textbooks reveals little in the way of discussion—or even mention—of the Twenty-second Amendment and its meaning and implications. ...

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Chapter 7 Ambition, Democracyx, and Constitutional Balance

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pp. 143-170

Since the passage of the Twenty-second Amendment, conventional wisdom has held that presidents become lame ducks in their second terms. This wisdom seemed to hold an especially prominent place during the second term of George W. Bush. For instance, in early 2007 Newsweek reported a poll showing that ...

Notes

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pp. 171-208

Index

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pp. 209-218

Other Titles in the Joseph V. Hughes Jr. and Holly O. Hughes Series on the Presidency and Leadership:

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pp. 219-220