FDR Presidential Library and Museum by way of Flickr, CC BY
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Has there ever been a president who has served greater than eight years? – Joseph, 8, New York, New York
The one president in American historical past to serve greater than two four-year phrases was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He truly served three full phrases in addition to the primary three months of a fourth time period till his demise on April 12, 1945.
The present limits on how lengthy an individual may be president come from the twenty second Modification, added to the U.S. Structure in 1951, which limits presidents to 2 profitable presidential elections. The modification makes one exception: If a president takes workplace in the midst of another person’s time period – if the president dies, for instance, and a vice chairman takes over and serves lower than two years, that individual can nonetheless run twice for their very own election. But when the alternative president serves for greater than two years of their predecessor’s time period, they will solely be elected to 1 extra presidential time period of their very own.
FDR wasn’t breaking these guidelines, as a result of the foundations didn’t exist for the primary 162 years of the nation’s historical past, from 1789 to 1951. Even so, in all that point, he was the one president who served greater than two phrases.
A complete of 13 presidents have served precisely two full phrases. Eight of them got here earlier than Roosevelt. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant and Woodrow Wilson served their phrases consecutively. Grover Cleveland served two phrases separated by the four-year time period of Benjamin Harrison.
Some thought of third phrases: In 1880, 4 years after he completed out his second time period, Grant pressed his candidacy as soon as once more however didn’t safe the Republican Get together’s presidential nomination. And as Woodrow Wilson completed out his second time period in 1920, he additionally thought of working for a 3rd time period, however in the end withdrew from consideration.
5 extra presidents – Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Invoice Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – got here after the twenty second Modification was handed, in order that they needed to depart and let another person take over.
4 extra presidents – Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson – accomplished the remaining phrases of one other president and had been elected to their very own full time period instantly afterward. Below the foundations of their instances, every of them may have run for another time period. A number of selected to not run for reelection; others ran and misplaced.
For instance, Lyndon Johnson, who took over after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, initially tried for a second full time period in 1968. However through the presidential primaries, he withdrew from consideration, partially as a result of his dealing with of the conflict in Vietnam was unpopular and threatened his probabilities.
The precedent of serving simply two phrases was initially established by Washington, the nation’s first president. By all accounts, Washington would have simply been reelected had he chosen to run a 3rd time.
However he rejected public calls to run for a 3rd time period as president in 1796. Washington was involved that by staying in workplace longer, he may ship a message that presidents ought to govern till demise or sickness drove them away, like a king. The American Revolution had simply overthrown a monarchy. Washington thus needed to guide by instance in voluntarily leaving workplace after his second time period, retiring to his Mount Vernon property in Virginia.
In any case, if two phrases is sweet sufficient for George Washington, isn’t it adequate for everybody else?
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David Yalof doesn’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or group that might profit from this text, and has disclosed no related affiliations past their educational appointment.