Obama, lame ducks, and a history of second-term stumbles

If history is any guide, naysayers are very, very wrong to count Obama out a mere 100 days into his fifth year in office

Franklin Delano Roosevelt began his second term with a power grab with Congress that didn't end well.
(Image credit: Keystone Features/Getty Images, CC BY: The White House)

From Maureen Dowd to Cokie Roberts to Peggy Noonan, pundits on both sides of the aisle seem eager to pin the "lame duck" label on President Obama. Following the sequester setback and the background check filibuster, Obama was recently forced at a press conference to assess whether or not he still has the "juice."

Obama's premature political obituaries lack historical perspective. While second-terms often go off the rails, Obama still has several promising avenues for big successes. But for an apples-to-apples comparison, let's fairly review the second-term records — the many lows along with the scattered highs — of Obama's Democratic predecessors.

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