Lame-duck presidents have made their share of last-minute legislative contributions, and the current lame duck need be no different, historian Julian E. Zelizer writes for CNN. “Bush does not have to sit on his hands until January 20,” Zelizer writes, and calls on him to “follow the tradition of lame-duck presidents who tried to make a difference, rather than simply playing out the clock.” They include Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush 41.
Carter’s parting shots included crucial environmental legislation and the groundwork necessary to free hostages in Iran. Reagan ushered in détente between his successor and the Soviets, and Clinton worked until the end to secure peace in the Middle East. “With just less than two months left in his presidency, Bush should follow the tradition,” Zelizer writes. “The president should break bread with Democrats and get this recovery started.”