Washington Post national political reporter Robert Costa is suggested – following former President Obama’s s speech at this week’s Democratic National Convention – that Democrats are mulling the repeal of the 22nd Amendment and bringing Obama back in for a third term.
That amendment, ratified in 1951, limits eligible American citizens to just two elected presidential terms. Every American president prior to Franklin Roosevelt had served just two terms in the White House. Roosevelt was and remains the only president to serve more than two.
Costa on Thursday suggested that Obama’s speech Wednesday at the convention, which he called an “historic rebuke” of President Trump, might serve as a siren call for Democrats looking with nostalgia to Obama’s two terms, from 2008-2018.
“They see what happened [on Wednesday] in the Democratic convention, and they see that Obama coalition reassembling,” Costa said during an interview with MSNBC’s Brian Williams.
“They’re talking about the 22nd Amendment that bans a president from going beyond two terms,” he continued. “Democrats are looking at that Obama speech tonight and saying maybe one day he could come back. Maybe the 22nd Amendment could be repealed.”
Constitutional amendments – or repeals of amendments – are historically difficult to pass. They must be proposed by two-thirds of the House and Senate; alternately, a constitutional convention can be called by two-thirds of the state legislatures.
Amending the constitution ultimately requires the votes of three-quarters of all states.