Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Grover Cleveland Syndrome

Multiple polls show Michelle Bachelet's popularity as incredibly low, with the latest putting her at 26%. We know the news about her son's corruption scandal and her response of firing her cabinet. But what doesn't get noted is the broader question of returning to the presidency after a break. She was very popular her first time around, but she couldn't hold onto the magic. A similar situation played out for Oscar Arias and Alan García.

Let's call it the Grover Cleveland Syndrome. In his first term, Cleveland rode prosperity and received accolades as he fought corruption. He still lost to Benjamin Harrison, then came back four years later and got hammered by economic crisis, which led to his own party deserting him because of how unpopular his policy responses were.

Are there successful examples? If not, or if there are very few, it leaves the question of why the second term is problematic. Is there such a thing as momentum, which you lose once you leave office? Are people less forgiving the second time around for some reason?

4 comments:

Otto ikn 9:37 AM  

Add Luis Castañeda to your list

Greg Weeks 1:03 PM  

Sure, mayors are also welcome!

boz,  3:05 PM  

Bouterse was just reelected in Suriname after returning to power after having been a military dictator. That sort of counts.

Greg Weeks 3:07 PM  

And Daniel Ortega isn't doing too bad. I forgot about him.

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