The Lame Duck

By Haley Howard ©2015

Beaver (searching frantically): Duck, oh Duck! Where are you? 

Duck: Here I am, Beaver. 

Beaver: Oh, thank goodness! Did something happen to you? I was worried about you! I was just listening to the news and they were talking about a lame duck. I was afraid you were hurt!

Duck: Oh, I’m fine, Beaver. Right as rain. 

Beaver: Oh, good! I was so worried about you…but if you’re okay, then who is the lame duck? 

Duck: Well, Beaver, when people talk about a lame duck, they’re usually talking about a politician who is in office. 

Beaver: Why would they call a politician a lame duck? Are ducks elected to office? 

Duck: No, no. Ducks aren’t elected to office. When a person is elected to office, say the president, they are elected for a certain amount of time and then a new person will be elected. In most cases, there is a period of time when the new person has been elected but the old person is still in office. The person still in office is called a lame duck. 

Beaver: But why is that person called a lame duck? 

Duck: Well, during that time after the new person has been elected, there is a lot of focus on him or her. The person still in office is often seen as not having very much influence. However, he or she can still give orders and put things into law. 

Beaver: But what’s so special about that? 

Duck: Sometimes, when there is still a person in office, they may do some things, like pass certain bills, they wouldn’t do normally because they already know they aren’t going to be elected again. 

Beaver: Oh, so they’re called a lame duck because they can be crippled by the fact that they don’t have as much influence because they’re not going to be elected again? 

Duck: That’s exactly right. 

Beaver: I guess being a politician isn’t always all its quacked up to be.