Just want to capture a thought or two the night before…
I’m pretty confident in two things:
First, the Amercian people tend to dole out reprisals when Presidents go too far or one party rules the roost for a tad too long, even if they did OK. Just going back to ’52…
Truman –> 20 years of Dems, WWII won, Cold War started, Korea –> Eisenhower
Eisenhower –> 8 years of blandness (but effective blandness) –> JFK
LBJ –> Vietnam, general hard-headed-ness and cantankerous-ness –> Nixon
Nixon/Ford –> Was a crook/wife wasted on national TV giving tour of White House –> Carter
Carter –> Told us to put on a sweater to solve energy crisis –> Reagan
Bush –> Career behind the scenes guy, 3rd party candidate steals needed votes –> Clinton
Clinton –> 8 years of not blandness (but effective not blandness) –> Bush Redux
Bush Redux –> Not feeling like doing the recap, think we’re all familiar right now –> ?
The real question comes down to will the congress be of the same party affiliation as the President. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve seen the Republicans have been doing a lot of local spending and canvassing for candidates. Seems like a sign of some sort.
Won’t go through a timeline on prez + congress being same party, but that has proven to be a real Achilles heal for a sitting President in the past in terms of longevity and popularity (OK, one relatively fresh example: HRG health care plan proposal ’93, Newt’s “Republican Revolution” of ’94, HRG moved out of limelight a bit). Per that example, and many others not given, the American people tend to fix that in mid-terms. The bad news is the second half of the four years for the sitting prez can prove tough even if people got elected w/ promises of “reaching across the aisle.” The mid-term correction tends to be, if this is possible, more derisive, partisan, and “base hardening” than most since every seat counts in order to effectively set up the next prez election. Especially now that the election cycle is easily 2 years long.
Second, how the Redskins fair in their game directly prior to the first Tuesday after the first Monday has proven 100% accurate, I believe, 17 times, back to Eisenhower. They win, and the party that had the popular vote the previous election wins. They lose and the party that didn’t have the popular vote the previous election wins. They lost.
If you’re still w/ me, then you will grant a history dork a couple of interesting asides…
I always say an umpire or a referee never really decides a game. In any close game, if you go back and think of a couple of plays, situations or streaks that occurred, you can see how the outcome could’ve gone the other way, regardless of a “bad” call. Hanging chads and the Supreme Court did not beat Al Gore. If he was so damn smart, how could he lose to W, a man the Dems have done not much more than call an idiot for 8 years – yet they lost to him not once but twice? If Al had the association of the prevous 8 years of, for the most part, prosperity, why was the race so close? Oh, yeah, it was a marketing decision – to disassociate himself w/ Bill Clinton. Oops.
Prior to W, Truman had the record for the lowest approval rating of any lame duck president. I’ve heard from some of his supporters that W will be seen in a positive light light Truman when time has passed. What’s that saying about hindsight?
Would JFK have been a Carter (won because very different than previous and then the mistake was realized based on his actions in office) or a Clinton (obvious flaws but great vision)? Had he been able to get around those, but kept us engaged in Vietnam, I’m struggling to see how he could’ve been Clinton-esque, obvious flaws or not.
Give Carter a TON of credit for parlaying his ability to be an eternal optimist and compromise into big things after the unsuccessful 4 years. He’s done a lot for this messed up world in which we live.
HW was very good at what he did prior to becoming Prez – get sh*t done in a complicated world w/o needing limelight (in many cases, it was probably best that it not be in the limelight). Not so much when it came to the vision and charisma needed to lead the free world. Ike won a war and the world was just starting to get complicated (though he was always suspicious, as was Churchill, of Stalin), so his lack of charisma as Prez gets a pass.