While out campaigning this week, Obama made repeated references to the outstanding speech given by Bill Clinton at the Democratic convention. My favorite thing Obama said about Clinton:
Somebody e-mailed me after his speech — they said, you need to appoint him secretary of explaining stuff … That was pretty good. I like that … the secretary of explaining stuff.
Has anyone else wondered if there is any good reason (legal or otherwise) why a former president couldn’t go on to become a vice president? That would be even better than “secretary of explaining stuff”.
There is plenty of precedent for a president changing vice presidents (Franklin Roosevelt switched vice presidents twice!). Don’t get me wrong, I actually like Joe Biden a lot, I’m just wondering.
Alternatively, I often think it would be cool if Hillary Clinton became Obama’s VP. Of course it is too late now, but I still wonder. Would it energize the Democratic base? Would it make the Republicans so rabid they couldn’t see straight?
Of course, there are down sides to having a Clinton on the ticket:
I absolutely loved Clinton’s speech. So much more captivating than Obama’s. The cartoon somewhat explains why people were clamoring for a 3rd clinton term. So quickly do they forget about deregulation. All they remember is the booming economy.
@ Jonah I agree, Clinton’s speech was great! Even my conservative friends said they enjoyed it, and one campaign advisor for Romney said that it was Clinton’s speech that handed the election to Obama. I’m not sure about that, but Clinton did something no other politician has been able to do in this race so far: provide a clear, concise explanation of the issues, where the different parties stand on them, and why Obama has been a successful president and deserves a second term. I’ve been waiting for that kind of clarity in the current political climate, and I’m glad it was Clinton that delivered.
If Clinton were Vice President and Obama was assasinated, I thought we had a law that said “no one can be president over eight years” so the Presidency would go to John Boehner, correct?
“No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.”
Seems to allow and ex-president to run for vice president, as long as they don’t run for president.
So why not run with bill as your vp, under the promise that your first act would be step down. Mind you, been a long time since I’ve gone through the whole legal aspect of how that would play out, but at first thought, you could cycle a candidate year after year.
It’s not unprecedented for presidents to change VP for re-election, but it almost always happens because their is a sharp ideological divide between the two, and usually because the VP has moved to the fringe of the party, e.g. if McCain had been elected and Palin still went on to become a vocal Tea Partier. Unless Biden decided he didn’t want the job anymore, Obama would have a hard time explaining why he was replacing him other than “I thought it would get me more votes”, which would probably hurt more than it helps.
I think it would be legal (although we’d probably get a court case out of it anyway) because there’s nothing that says you can’t be president for more than two terms, only that you can’t run for more than two terms. But I doubt Clinton would want the job anyway. I’ve heard both Clinton and Carter comment in interviews that they like being ex-president more than president, because it gives them a lot more freedom to focus their energy on the issues that they want to focus on.
To answer the “Has anyone else wondered if there is any good reason (legal or otherwise) why a former president couldn’t go on to become a vice president?”, it’s a constitutional impossibility unless you’re the late Harry S Truman.
The last sentence of the 12th amendment reads: “But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”
The first sentence of the 22nd amendment reads: “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.”
The second sentence of the 22nd amendment opts out the President at the time of proposal and ratification, which was Harry Truman for both deadlines.
The right wing seemed to be commenting mostly on Clinton’s impeachment, etc. Of course, Newt as candidate was perfectly fine to them.
Ah yes, the Glass-Stegall repeal…another fine instance of great Texas politicians. Guess that Swiss banking gig keeps him in touch with the Romneyites.
Alex, thanks for spelling Harry Truman’s middle name correctly, it rarely happens!
I wouldn’t want Clinton back, but he did point out the obvious, which should have been spelled out in every campaign of the Democratic party, on every level, before now. Grow a spine -indeed!