Adams described the position to his wife as "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived." Once he was elected president, Adams was finally able to feel relevant again and flex his brain "muscles," not to mention his ego.
President Adams implemented the decision to move the government from Philadelphia to Washington and exercised leadership with such decisions as creating the Library of Congress, both in 1800. Adams was well respected, but faced a series of foreign policy crises, which eventually isolated him politically.
His actions ultimately cost him the election to Thomas Jefferson in 1800.