The Ex-Presidents

Issue Date April 2010
Volume 21
Issue 2
Page Numbers 65-78
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The decision by a leader to risk defeat in elections or retire from office at the end of a limited term suggests a rare faith in democratic process and procedure, and an unusual conviction that there can be personal advantage in self-denial. Because of the three considerations all outgoing leaders face—supporting themselves, securing their legacies, and assuring a steady political transition—the market for their skills and expertise will shape their behavior in office. In other words, officeholders behave in ways that anticipate the market for their services after they leave office.