The Corner

Rules Are Made to Be Broken

At least when those rules are inferred from small sample sizes. Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, a Republican, tells Stephen Moore, “We need to understand that only once since 1896 has a party that took the White House not held on for at least two terms, and that was when Reagan beat Jimmy Carter. So the odds are stacked against us.” Fair enough. But the last time we had three back-to-back eight-year presidencies was 1801-1825. (If you’re strict in your definitions, we hadn’t even had two back-to-back eight-year presidencies since then–until the one we’re ending now.)

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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