How to be a Lame Duck

Monday, February 2, 2015

by Listen Current

President Obama gave his State of the Union last month, officially entering his 7th year as president. With two years remaining in his presidency Obama is officially a lame duck president. But, he is taking action to make these years meaningful by making large policy changes using Executive Action. Listen to learn more about the history of lame duck presidencies and how having a Congress controlled by the opposition party might lead to more rather than less debate.

Listen to the Story from NPR

Obama Strategizes How To Be A Successful Lame Duck President


1. What does it mean to be a "lame duck" president?

2. How is President Obama making changes using his executive power?

3. Who can undo Obama’s executive actions? Why is it challenging to do this?

4. What makes a president a successful lame duck?

5. Describe the challenges and opportunities Obama will face now that the legislature is controlled by his opposition party.

Classroom Discussion Themes

1. What should President Obama do in his final years in office?

2. How can a president still be effective even if he doesn’t pass legislation?

Looking for more resources on presidents? Check out our Presidents' Day Collection