John Quincy Adams had the potential to be one of our greatest presidents and is unquestionably the greatest ex-president. He entered office with more experience than anyone before or after and might possibly be the smartest chief executive ever. He suffered from the same problem his father had, things ran so smoothly during his one term that he never had a major problem that needed fixing. We tend to reward presidents who overcome, not those who sail through. Hip beliefs in old school politics meant he refused to support the growing party system and refused to defend himself when attacked. He did not even fire his VP who basically campaigned for his opponent in the next election all during his presidency. His refusal to play the game of party politics predetermined his presidency to one term.
After his term was over, however, Adams feeling that he still had more to offer ran for House of Representatives from MA and served from 1831 to 1848.