The lead for today’s installment of Meet the Press included the tease: “Is President Obama already a ‘lame duck’?”
In 1933, the passage of the 20th Amendment shortened the period between the presidential election and the inauguration of the president so that if a sitting president were a “lame duck”—that is, either lost the election or chose not to run for re-election– the transition period would be shortened and the new president could assume office and attempt to address pressing issues in January, rather than in March. In 1933, as the nation sank ever more precipitously into the economic catastrophe of the Great Depression, expediting the transfer of power made a great deal of sense to just about everyone—except, of course, for those relative few who thought that Herbert Hoover was doing a fine job.
So how is it that anyone is asking whether President Obama is a “lame…
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