Jewish World Review June 2, 2003 / 2 Sivan, 5763

Keith Olbermann

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Bush vs. Clinton? | We’re always trying to keep you ahead of the curb so we thought we would give you the first preview of the upcoming presidential election — the upcoming presidential election of the year 2016.

THAT RACE would pit the Democratic nominee from the state of New York, the 42nd president of the United States, William J. Clinton, vs. the Republican nominee from the state of Texas, the 43rd president of the United States, George Walker Bush.

Oh, yes, this is after the repeal of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, the one that limits a president to two terms in a lifetime. You know who dreamt this up, right?

“It’s a good thing we got the term limits,” said former President Bill Clinton. “You would have had to throw me out. But I think the term limits are OK. I think, since people are living much longer, it wouldn’t affect me, but for future generations, the 22nd Amendment should probably be modified to say two consecutive terms instead of two terms for a lifetime. ”

In other words, four more more years. He says it’s about presidents leaving office younger than ever before. He says it’s about the country not being able to take advantage of their experience if its wants to. He says it would probably not apply to him, he says.

Now, he can take the controversy out of this by simply saying, any repeal should have a reverse grandfather clause about it not applying to, say, any president elected after the year 1996.

But, seriously, Mr. Clinton makes an interesting point: If you changed it from no more than two terms in a lifetime to no more than two consecutive terms in a lifetime, you would be acknowledging that presidents are no longer so old and worn out that they are leaving office and almost immediately leave life.

Consider our hypothetical election of 2016. Former two-term President Clinton would be 70 years and two months old. Former— for the sake of argument— two-term President Bush would be 70 years and four months old. When first elected, Ronald Reagan was 69 years and 11 months old.

Heck of a campaign that would be! For one thing, it would break the tie in that Gallup poll from the other day about who was greatest president ever, the one that Clinton and Bush tied for third place in. And, of course, the Bush-Clinton race of 2016 would be necessary, because the sitting chief executive, the one who presumably succeeded Mr. Bush in 2009 and then got reelected in 2012 cannot serve a third consecutive term. That would be, of course, the 44th president of the United States, Alfred Sharpton Jr.

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The writer hosts MSNBC's “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.” The news program, dedicated to all of the day’s top stories, telecasts weeknights, 8-9 p.m. ET. Comment by clicking here.

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