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Will a sitting US president not seek reelection before the 2080 election?


During his Farewell Address George Washington set the precedent of only pursuing two terms, a tradition that was set in stone by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe, who all publicly embraced the principle.

From then on the presidents mostly adhered to this tradition.

The first deviation came at the hands of Ulysses S. Grant, who sought to serve a third term in 1880, though that was eleven years after he had left the oval office. A more serious case was Theodore Roosevelt. President William McKinley was assassinated still in the first year of his second term and Vice President Roosevelt had to take over. He forewent a consecutive third term, since he felt term limits were a good check on dictatorships, being succeeded by William H. Taft. But due to his dissatisfaction with President Taft’s political acumen Roosevelt sought a third term for the 1912 election, heading the Progressive Party, thus once more straining the traditional two term limits, but due to his defeat at the hands of Woodrow Wilson the tradition remained true.

Calvin Coolidge, following the sudden death of his predecessor Warren G. Harding in August 1923, was confirmed in the 1924 election, but then chose not to run, later on citing 10 years in Washington would be too long for any man.

Only when Franklin D. Roosevelt took over the helm was the tradition broken. Buoyed by his success in dealing with the Great Depression and trusting only his own political experience in dealing with the Nazis currently sweeping through Western Europe, he sought and won a third term in 1940. Despite being aware of his ailing health, he also sought and won a fourth consecutive term, but considered resigning once the war was over. Three months into his fourth term his health declined rapidly and he died, making place for his Vice President Harry S. Truman.

Truman took office the remaining almost full term and was reelected in 1948. In 1951 the 22nd Amendment was ratified, which would have rendered him ineligible for the 1952 election, were it not for the grandfather clause. He seriously considered running for the 1952 election, but his advisers managed to talk him out of it, citing Truman’s age and bad polling.

Only Calvin Coolidge, Harry S. Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson forewent a term they were eligible for. Thus we ask if this will happen again.

Will a sitting US president not seek reelection before the 2080 election?

Resolves positive if a sitting President of the United States decides not to seek nor accept the nomination of any party for another eligible term’s election, nor try to run on their own, before the 2080 presidential election.

Resolves ambiguous if the US political system changes significantly from the current political system (federal presidential constitutional republic).

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