Multiple presidency's?

I read that after FDR had 4 stays in power, they passed a law saying no presidency should exceed 2 terms.

The law in question is 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids the same person from being elected President more than twice.

It was ratified because before FDR was elected, it was traditional for two-term Presidents not to seek a third term, even though they would be able to. The tradition started with George Washington, who refused to run a third time on the grounds that he did not want to become a de facto monarch. The reasons for passing the 22nd Amendment were similar; people did not want to allow a single President to amass too much power by being in office forever.

You don’t suppose the fact that it was a Republican Congress in 1947, after a four term Democratic President and during the term of another Democratic President (although excempted) had anything to do with it? And did the Republican Party regret the decision during the Eisenhower administration?

Is it your contention that there were Republican majorities in the 41 states that ratified the amendment between 1947 and 1951?

Losing four consecutive presidential elections certainly prompted support for the amendment from Republicans who had been excluded from the executive branch for a generation. But while the Republicans controlled the Congress that proposed the amendment, they did not control either house by the necessary two-thirds majority. The amendment was proposed by Congress, and (as friedo points out) ratified by legislatures in 36 states, with broad bipartisan support.

Just to refine this, the limitation is 10 years, which precludes anyone from running three times. A vice president can take over from a president, such as in the case of Johnson/JFK, run for office, and then, if there are still 4 years left on the limit, run again (as Johnson chose NOT to do). The whole thing of term limits is a double edged sword. There are clearly people who shouldn’t be allowed to continue in office beyond those limits, and there are clearly people who should. Of cocurse, one person’s Strom Thurmond is another person’s Bill Bradley. I just hate limiting the public’s choices. I’d much rather be able to vote someone out of office, than not be given the chance to. We get the government we deserve.

Problem with that is, many of the Reps who hated FDR’s guts never really liked Eisenhower, having supported Robert Taft in the 1952 primaries.

They sure as hell regretted it during the Reagan administration.

True, but another term for Reagan, with the onset of his Alzheimer’s, would have been an enormous mistake. On balance, the Presidential term limit is probably a good thing.

Depends on who the president is. At the risk of setting off a debate, I’d sure rather have had Mr. Clinton continue than see what Mr. Bush has done internationally, to say nothing of the economic and social mess that’s developing.

Presidency’s what?

Personnaly I feel each president should have one 6 year term with no chance of re-election. That way he would not spend his last two years of his first term campaigning instead of focusing on his job. Would anyone agree that the most effective presidents in our past are the ones who had two terms and didn’t have to worry about re-election?

But he would spend the last two years campaigning…for his party’s selection.

Before this runs off the rails entirely into GD, I’d like to add a historical note concerning Democratic support for the 22nd Amendment. As has been noted, the Amendment could not have attained the necessary 2/3 majorities in Congress nor the ratification of 3/4 of the states without significant Democratic support.

Most Democrats who voted for the 22nd Amendment were Southerners. Throughout the 1940’s, white Southerners were growing increasingly disenachanted with the Roosevelt and Truman administrations as these presidents moved toward support of a limited civil rights agenda. As we all now know, this dissatisfaction crystallized in Strom Thurmond’s Dixiecrat revolt of 1948. Southern Democrats of that era were happy to do anything that could be construed as a sideways slap at the presidency, and they provided the necessary votes to propose the amendment in 1947 and ratify it over the next four years.

Among the small minority of 11 northern Democrats supporting the amendment in the House of Representatives was a freshman from Massachusetts named Kennedy, who may have borne a personal grudge against FDR for recalling his father from Great Britain in 1940.

Supposedly, several former presidents have expressed this same sentiment.

Very interesting. I wonder if perhaps another factor was as work among anti-FDR Democrats as well. For the first century of its nominating conventions, the Democratic party required a two-thirds vote for nominating a presidential candidate. This supermajority effectively gave each region–the industrial/liberal North, the reconstructed conservative South, and the agrarian-turned-populist West–a veto over the party’s nominee. But the two-thirds requirement was repealed in the 20th century; I am unsure when, but I think that Franklin Roosevelt was the first candidate nominated with a simple majority rather than a two-thirds majority. I wonder whether some Southern Democrats may have supported the 22nd amendment as a backlash against losing their control over the party’s nominating process, so that another popular northern liberal like Roosevelt couldn’t control the party for longer than two election cycles after Roosevelt and Truman had controlled it for five.

Does anyone know when the Democratic party moved from nominating its candidate by a two-thirds vote to nominating by simple majority?

In 1936. I don’t know that I’d draw a direct line from the abolition of the 2/3 rule to Southern Dem support of the 22nd Amendment, but an indirect one, perhaps. It was one more factor contributing to white Southern insecurity.

Here’s how the order of ratifications of the 22nd Amendment:

A total of 41 state legislatures ratified the Twenty-second
Amendment on the following dates: Maine, March 31, 1947; Michigan, March 31, 1947; Iowa, April 1, 1947; Kansas, April 1, 1947; New Hampshire, April 1, 1947; Delaware, April 2, 1947; Illinois, April 3, 1947; Oregon, April 3, 1947; Colorado, April 12, 1947; California, April 15, 1947; New Jersey, April 15, 1947; Vermont, April 15, 1947; Ohio, April 16, 1947;
Wisconsin, April 16, 1947; Pennsylvania, April 29, 1947; Connecticut, May 21, 1947; Missouri, May 22, 1947; Nebraska, May 23, 1947; Virginia, January 28, 1948; Mississippi, February 12, 1948; New York, March 9, 1948; South Dakota, January 21, 1949; North Dakota, February 25, 1949;
Louisiana, May 17, 1950; Montana, January 25, 1951; Indiana, January 29, 1951; Idaho, January 30, 1951; New Mexico, February 12, 1951; Wyoming, February 12, 1951; Arkansas, February 15, 1951; Georgia, February 17, 1951; Tennessee, February 20, 1951; Texas, February 22, 1951; Utah,
February 26, 1951; Nevada, February 26, 1951; Minnesota, February 27, 1951; North Carolina, February 28, 1951; South Carolina, March 13, 1951; Maryland, March 14, 1951; Florida, April 16, 1951; and Alabama, May 4, 1951.

The amendment became part of the Constitution on 27 February 1951 when the Minnesota Legislature ratified it, the 36th state legislature to do so, edging out the North Carolina Legislature by a day.

I’m willing to bet though, that the Amendment was born out of hatred for the man, not just the fact that he was elected to 4 terms. FDR was greatly loved and revered by a good many people (hence the 4 elections) but he was also bitterly hated by just as many. He was dead 14 years before I was born and I dispise him and the direction he pushed our country in. He easily qualifies as one of the most hated Presidents, if not the most hated men, in history. Yet he got elected in relative landslides 4 times in a row. Strange, huh?

My Dad used to tell me this joke that was going around during FDR’s stint: A man walks up to a newspaper stand, looks at the front page of the paper. The attendant asks him if he wants to buy the paper. The man says “No, I’m only checking for the obituary”. Confused, the attendant states that the obituaries aren’t on the front page. The man then replies “the sonofabitch I’m waiting for will be!”

that joke is eternal! It could be used for during any Presidents term!