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From George Washington to Evo Morales: Re-electionism in the Americas

May 28, 2013

George Washington, the first president of the United States, ran for re-election just once, in spite of being tremendously popular and receiving countless pleas from his supporters to remain in power. He thus started a healthy U.S. tradition that lasted a century—until Franklin Delano Roosevelt chose to break it by running for re-election twice. After this one-time alteration of the constitutional order by an incumbent president, in 1951, the United States congress approved the 22nd Amendment, which codifies Washington’s tradition and effectively prevents multiple re-elections.

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