Essay on Does a President's Power Decline in His 2nd Term?

724 Words Apr 24th, 2016 3 Pages
A President’s power inevitably declines in a second term in office. Discuss.
The term lame duck president used to mean a president who was in his last few months in office, after his successor had been elected. Now it is used to mean anything up to the last two years of his last, typically 2nd, term. Without the prospect of re-election, and time in office running out a president may seem to lose power and or focus, becoming weak and having little impact of the country as a whole.
The media and members of Congress are looking ahead to the next election and administration.
Since the ratification of the 22nd amendment in 1957, a president has been limited to serving 2 terms. Since, in his second term, the president is not up for
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This makes it harder for him to pass his own agenda, however he can block the other party’s agenda, by a veto, as congress is so partisan very few bills would get the 2/3 support needed to overrule the veto.
Whilst it may be argued that a president’s power declines in his second term, constitutionally that is not true. In his second term the president has the same constitutionally prescribed powers that are not dependant on congress as he did in his first term. This is especially true in foreign policy. the veto power means he is able to block Congress’s agenda even if unable to advance his own; the president can use constitutional loopholes such as executive orders and signing statements to bypass Congress EXAMPLE. This means that although facing an opposition- controlled congress can make it harder for a president to fulfil his agenda, he still has ways of making it happen.
The Reagan and Clinton presidencies both concluded with a flurry of activity abroad, despite the distraction for Reagan of Iran-Contra and for Clinton of his impeachment; Bush Jr, Regan, and FDR (powerful in 2nd term) • in President Bush’s second term he successfully nominated two conservatives, Samuel Alito and John Roberts to the Supreme Court, and resisted Democratic efforts to create a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq

However as many presidents do not

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