From Mike Allen yesterday (hat tip: John Aravosis):
ARTICLE OF THE DAY -- JON WARD in Huffington magazine (available today on iPad; article posts Monday), "The One-Termer? Thinking Bold Thoughts With Team Romney": "Matt Rhoades is guarded and intense ... [W]hen I met him in mid-July, in a bohemian coffee shop in Boston's North End, the 37-year-old manager of Mitt Romney's campaign was hesitant to speculate about what the Republican candidate would do as president, and how. ... But when I asked Rhoades ... what Romney might do with the budget and entitlement reform plans Ryan had already outlined, Rhoades' eyes lit up. He gave me a name: James Polk. ... Rhoades and the rest of the members of Romney's inner circle think a Romney presidency could look much like the White House tenure of the 11th U.S. president.Oh, please, Mitt -- get some original material, won't you?
"Polk, who served from 1845 to 1849, presided over the expansion of the U.S. into a coast-to-coast nation, annexing Texas and winning the Mexican-American war for territories that also included New Mexico and California. He reduced trade barriers and strengthened the Treasury system. And he was a one-term president. Polk is an allegory for Rhoades: He did great things, and then exited the scene, and few remember him. That, Rhoades suggested, could be Romney's legacy as well. ... Multiple senior Romney advisers assured me that they had had conversations with the candidate in which he conveyed a depth of conviction about the need to try to enact something like Ryan's controversial budget and entitlement reforms. Romney, they said, was willing to count the cost politically in order to achieve it."
Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, syndicated column, August 2, 1978:
Romald Reagan has toyed with a dramatic response to the political hazard of his age: a pledge to serve only one term if elected president....Houston Chronicle, February 3, 1995:
Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole says that in formally declaring his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, he may announce he will seek only one term.John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, Game Change:
"I haven't ruled that out," Dole told interviewer David Frost in a report to be broadcast on public television Friday night.The move would give the 1996 race an unconventional and possibly controversial twist. Not since the 19th century has a candidate forsworn interest in a second term before being elected to his first, a presidential scholar said. James K. Polk (1845-49) and Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-81) promised to serve only one term and did....
The idea was as simple as it was radical: a one-term pledge. McCain would promise that if he won the White House, he would spend four years in residence and then step down. The pledge would embody the theme that Reagan cared only about solving the country's problems and not about indulging his ambition. It would say that he was going to tackle the hardest issues -- Iraq, immigration, ethics, entitlements, runaway spending -- with no regard for reelection.Mitt? We've been there. We've done that. Try again.
...The announcement speech wasd written. The press release was drafted. All systems were go....
(And yes, Barack Obama has said on a couple of occasions that one term could have been enough for him. Nobody believed he wouldn't run again. Nobody should believe it about Mitt, either.)