A White House Aware of Second-Term Perils

tags: NYT, Barack Obama, historians, historians' dinner



WASHINGTON — As he tucked into a salad and a beef pastry, President Obama looked around the family dining room in the White House and stared into his future. By some forecasts, it may not be a pretty sight.

Gathered with him that evening were several of the nation’s leading historians, who reminded him of the sorry litany of second terms — the cascade of scandal, war, recession, political defeat and other calamities that afflicted past presidents after the heady crescendo of re-election.

For Mr. Obama, who will be sworn in for another four years in a quiet ceremony on Sunday and then again in more public fashion on Monday, the lessons were familiar if daunting. Embarking on the next half of his presidency, he and his advisers are developing a second-term strategy intended to avoid the pitfalls of his predecessors with a robust agenda focused on the economy, gun control, immigration and energy....




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