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History lesson for Obama: Not-so-great expectations for presidents in year 4 at White House
Washington (AP) ' President Barack Obama's "we can't wait" refrain is all about projecting a sense of bold action heading into his fourth year in office. It turns out recent presidents haven't had much luck with that.
The fourth year is often a disappointment, particularly when a president faces re-election with a Congress controlled by the other party.
The heady optimism of earlier years gets bogged down in partisan bickering, and big initiatives give way to less ambitious steps.
Bill Clinton did enough to get re-elected in 1996, but it was a year of small-bore initiatives.
The first President Bush opened his fourth year in 1992 by insisting "the people cannot wait" for action.
By that November, voters in a down economy were tired of waiting. They gave the president's job to Clinton.