He's Part Realtor, Part Historian

By Eric Olson

December 22, 2011 Updated Dec 22, 2011 at 1:10 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--You may not know the face but you certainly know the name, it is everywhere to be seen. Al Zacher has been dean of commercial real estate in northeast Indiana for decades but he’s also a respected author, his book published 15 years ago analyzing presidential second terms…got lots of media, and other attention.

Nineteen presidents enjoyed second terms but Zacher judges only eight of them to be successful second terms. Teddy Roosevelt’s highly successful second term produced the national parks system and Wall Street reform. The most successful second termer? George Washington.

“We had ten measures of success,” Zacher says, “and he really fulfilled all of them.”

The worst second term? Richard Nixon’s, ending with Watergate and disgrace. Zacher says second terms usually fail because of a wary congress, and a reelected chief executive who tries to exceed his authority.

“These combine for congress to stand up against the president,” he says, “and suddenly he finds his legislation isn’t going forward and he isn’t succeeding.”

In January Zacher’s book will be republished with new chapters on Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and some revised conclusions. And it will come out as an e-book as well, utilizing the new technology…so this remarkable tome by a thoughtful and provocative author from out in Your Country can help us all, from the White House to your house, become better informed citizens of the world. This is Eric Olson reporting.

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