The Second Term

A common point made in the run-up to the recent presidential election was that Obama’s re-election made history. There is one clear reason for the facuality of this assertion: not since Franklin D. Roosevelt had a majority of voting Americans re-elected a president with such a high unemployment rate. 76 years…1936 for Roosevelt and 2012 for Obama. That is genuinely historic.

It brings me to an important point. Second terms of presidencies are often much different than first terms. I think that much is to be gained, to be learned, from an exploration of Roosevelt’s second term as a platform for looking ahead to Obama’s second term.

We already know that the two campaigns were similar. The Obama 2012 campaign took many features from Roosevelt’s 1936 campaign. Not least of which was the verbal assault on the nation’s richer citizens, the wealthiest among us. Roosevelt was merciless in his rhetoric. Obama resembled Roosevelt in his oral attacks on Romney and Bain Capital as representatives of the 1 percent.

Expect to see something from me about the comparisons between the second term of Roosevelt and the upcoming second term of Obama. It will be one of my Leadership Now Workshops.