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November 29, 2013

Liberal Congressional Democrats have nothing to fear from a lame-duck president; nor do Republicans, for that matter.

That is the logic behind Jonathan Zimmerman's touting of ending term limits for the president. The professor of history and education at New York University seems to think Obama has lost his authority resulting in many Democrats placing space between themselves and the president as elections near.

I ask, "What's wrong with that?"

That is the way the system is supposed to work. If the nation's CEO is so bad that even his own party disowns him, he should lose clout. He's obviously doing something wrong.

Can't happen, you say? I will agree it's unlikely. Then, again, I can recall forty years ago when I said gas prices will never reach $2  per glallon
End presidential term limits

By Jonathan Zimmerman / The Washington Post

n 1947, Sen. Harley Kilgore (D-W.Va.) condemned a proposed constitutional amendment that would restrict presidents to two terms. “The executive’s effectiveness will be seriously impaired,” Kilgore argued on the Senate floor, “ as no one will obey and respect him if he knows that the executive cannot run again.”

I’ve been thinking about Kilgore’s comments as I watch President Obama, whose approval rating has dipped to 37 percent in CBS News polling — the lowest ever for him — during the troubled rollout of his health-care reform. Many of Obama’s fellow Democrats have distanced themselves from the reform and from the president. Even former president Bill Clinton has said that Americans should be allowed to keep the health insurance they have.

Or consider the reaction to the Iran nuclear deal. Regardless of his political approval ratings, Obama could expect Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and John McCain (Ariz.) to attack the agreement. But if Obama could run again, would he be facing such fervent objections from Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)?

Probably not. Democratic lawmakers would worry about provoking the wrath of a president who could be reelected. Thanks to term limits, though, they’ve got little to fear.

Nor does Obama have to fear the voters, which might be the scariest problem of all. If he chooses, he could simply ignore their will. And if the people wanted him to serve another term, why shouldn’t they be allowed to award him one?

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  1. He doesn't need to run for a third time, he can actively campaign for a Democrat, first in the primaries, next in the general election. Even if he doesn't, if a Democrat is elected in 2016, history would be hard to spin otherwise that the country wanted the Presidency to stay in the hands of the Democrats.

    By the same logic, that's why people say Reagan was a successful President. Of course there are many reasons why Reagan was a successful and important President. So, by logic, the county rewarded Reagan and the Republicans with a third term.