Thursday, October 26, 2006
Just remember: the Grant Administration never had to fight a world war.
efore President Bush, thirteen presidents
were elected twice in a row: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and BJ Qlinton. One died in office and another resigned before the midterm election: Lincoln (murdered April 15, 1865) and Nixon (resigned August 9, 1974). Six others, during the first two years of their second terms, faced at least one house of Congress that wasn't exclusively controlled by members of his party: Washington (Anti-Administration-controlled House
), Jackson (Whig-controlled Senate
), Wilson (independents and Democrat coalition-controlled House), Eisenhower (Democrat-controlled Senate), Reagan (Democrat-controlled House), and Qlinton (Republican-controlled Senate). Each of the rest, like President Bush, began his second term with his party in exclusive control of both houses of Congress: four Republicans (Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Grant) and one Democrat (Roosevelt). Of those, all but one — Grant — each ended his second term with his party retaining such control.
Including President Bush, only six presidents have been elected twice in a row and were still in office during a second midterm election when their respective parties exclusively controlled both the Senate and the House. The odds historically given by the American people to any such president are 4 to 1 that his party will continue to control both houses of Congress.
Politically speaking, those are very good odds. Given the fact our country is fighting a World War for her very way of life, the odds given by We the People of keeping our government strongly and completely unified, with its majorities all possessing a shared purposefulness and common desire to totally win that War, are even better.
Two presidents, during their sixth straight year in office, each saw his party retain control of both houses of Congress after the midterms even while our country was still trying to fully recover from an economic Depression: Monroe (who presided over America's first one, the "Panic [with a capital 'P'] of 1819," which continued until 1821) and Roosevelt (who presided over America's last one, "The Great Depression," which lasted practically throughout his entire presidency).
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