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  1. Here is a fact that I find intriguing and puzzling. Before FDR, twenty of thirty-one US Presidents held the office for only one term. That's 65%. Yet, from FDR through Obama, only three of thirteen have been one-timers, which is 23%. Even if you split the pre-FDR group into two halves at Lincoln, each half has about the same ratio: Washington to Buchanan (10 of 15) and Lincoln to Hoover (10 of 16). Of course FDR served four terms, but I'm only counting him once, because his terms were consecutive. Cleveland, however, gets counted twice, because his terms were not consecutive. Why did the ratio change starting at FDR? Of course there are numerous factors to consider. One thing is that before FDR the inauguration date was March 4. Then the 20th Amendment moved it to January 20. Is it possible that the shortening of the "lame duck" period between election and inauguration contributed to the ratio change? Why might that substantially decrease the number of single-term Presidents? Could the statistical change just be random chance? Do the wars have something to do with it? The Civil War did not alter the ratio. Was there something relevant about WW2? Maybe the steady stream of foreign wars since then is a factor. And what about FDR's New Deal programs? Does government intervention in the economy lead to less turnover in the presidency? If we hadn't limited people to two terms after FDR, would Dubya or Obama still be our President?
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