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The 22nd Amendment – Part 2

April 7, 2014

Calvin Coolidge left office on March 4, 1929 and published his autobiography in May of that year.  He could have run in 1928 and probably would have won, but since he had already served more than five years, he did not think it wise to seek re-election.

On page 242 of his autobiography Coolidge wrote: “An examination of the records of those Presidents who have served eight years will disclose that in almost every instance the latter part of their term has shown very little in the way of constructive accomplishment.  They have often been clouded with grave disappointments.”

Coolidge was born the year of Grant’s re-election, and the Civil War hero’s second term was marred by scandal due to his lax administration.  During his youth Coolidge lived through the economic depression that coincided with Grover Cleveland’s second term.  When Coolidge was in his mid-40’s, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected using the slogan “He kept us out of war.”  Less than one month after his second inauguration Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war.

Coolidge’s decision not to run in 1928 was founded upon his personal recollection of important historical facts.  Who could possibly serve well for more than eight years?

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