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Hard Question: Can Barack Obama legally become U.S. President again?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by tuckerkao, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. tuckerkao

    tuckerkao Warlord

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    Let's assume no Constitution amendments are allowed.

    Constitution: A man may only be elected for the U.S. presidency for 2 terms or serving 10 total years max.

    Yes, Barack Obama can become U.S. President again under the 1/millions of chance.

    If a very old politician like Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden runs as the democratic presidential nominee and Barack Obama joins as a vice presidential candidate. Assume they get elected in 2020.

    Constitution: The vice president will automatically become the next president if the current president dies in the office.

    Barack Obama is 56 years old and has served 8 years, he will be at age 60 by Aug, 2021. Well, 10 total years max means 2 more legitimate years for Obama under this Scenario and he can pick a new vice president to succeed him like how Gerald Ford did in the 1970s. So it's possible for 3 democrats to become U.S. presidents within 4 years.
     
  2. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    Here's the 22nd Amendment:

    It limits the amount of times a person can be elected. IMHO, a VP's becoming President because of a vacancy is not an "election."
     
  3. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Yeah, but it says that if a person becomes President via the Vice Presidency they can only be elected once. Since Obama was elected twice I think this would disqualify him from being the Vice President, since there would be the possibility that he might act as President for more than two years of the term.
     
  4. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Mansplaining Fool

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    It limits how many times they can stand for election after inheriting the position of President via the VP, but it doesn't specify any limit for the reverse.
     
  5. Wastl

    Wastl Warlord

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    Obama couldn't possibly be the candidate for VP, because the theoretical possibility of him becoming president for more than two years would exist, thus exceeding the maximum of ten years. Since you cannot rule out that Obama would have to take over at any point in the first two years, you can't rule out that he would be in office for more than 10 years, thus he isn't even eligible as VP-candidate.

    The ten years rule exists for one specific purpose, to define how much of a VP's rule as president is enough to consider it as his own term. Someone who takes over as president after one year, serves three years in that term, which is the majority. This makes it "his" term. As such, he can only be voted for in an actual election once more, because you are only allowed to serve two terms. But if you are taking over late in the term, you didn't serve for the majority, and thus it wasn't your term. Because of this, you are still eligible to be elected twice. The rule more or less exists to prevent that someone serves what amounts to (almost) three terms.

    The only way for Obama to become president again is through a change of the constitution. Unless that happens he isn't eligible to be presidential or vice-presidential candidate, nor would he be part of the presidential succession if he were a member of cabinet. The Presidential Succession Act specifically states that any person taking over the office of president in an acting capacity must be eligible to be elected as president in an election.
     
  6. tuckerkao

    tuckerkao Warlord

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    Richard M. Nixon resigned during the middle of his term after Gerald Ford replaced the original vice president. It turned out former president Ford became the first accidental president without running for any elections.

    If 2 old men like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders reach the White House, Barack Obama can still be their next successor.

    As far as the 10 years total concern, Obama must resign as an Acting President after his 2 more years limit reaches.

    He can appoint another vice president during the 2 years or have the House Speaker to succeed his position.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected 4 times, so he must be really great.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  7. Gori the Grey

    Gori the Grey The Poster

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    There's no "ten years rule." Ten years is just the longest period of time anyone could ordinarily serve under the stated conditions.

    In the extraordinary hypothetical posed, Obama wouldn't have been "elected to the office of the president" more than the stated maximum number of times.

    But why does the hypothetical need an old president like Biden or Sanders? May not young men die as well as old?

    Anyone Obama 2020!
    Anyone Obama 2024!

    Nah, he wasn't that great. The Dems'll get another good candidate.
     
  8. FriendlyFire

    FriendlyFire Codex WMDicanious

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    Putin says hello
     
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  9. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    There would be no need for anyone to die. There is the option for Anyone to immediately resign after the inauguration. That would not violate the letter of the law, only the spirit. I would hope that American voters would refuse to support such thinly veiled attempts to circumvent the constitution. Then again, that hope requires more trust in the wisdom of American voters than I am willing to give.
     
  10. Silurian

    Silurian Deity

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    I see nothing about restricting the service to ten years there as others have noted so would agree with you.

    Case A - President gets elected then re-elected and serves full terms- then can not be re-elected a third time so 8 years.
    Case B - President gets elected then re-elected and serves part of second term- then can not be re-elected a third time so less than 8 years.
    Case C - President gets elected then after a break gets re-elected and serves full terms - then can not be re-elected a third time so 8 years.
    Case D - President gets elected then after a break gets re-elected and serves part of second term- then can not be re-elected a third time so less than 8 years.
    Case E - Vice President becomes President in the first half then re-elected and serves full second term- then can not be re-elected a second time so less than 8 years.
    Case F - Vice President becomes President in the second half then re-elected twice and serves full terms- then can not be re-elected a third time so less than 10 years.
    Case G,H,I and J as A, B, C and D Former two term President stands as VP becomes President- then can not be re-elected a third time so less than 12 years.
    Case K - One term President.
    Case L - Former one term President stands as VP becomes President in the first half - then can not be re-elected a second time so less than 8 years.
    Case M - Former one term President stands as VP becomes President in the second half then re-elected - then can not be re-elected a third time so less than 10 years.
    Case N - VP becomes President does not get re-elected but stands for VP becomes President again etc - no maximum term as president since not elected too post.
    Case O - variations of N where the VP/President gets elected up to two times.

    Regarding The Presidential Succession Act that was quoted by Wastl I assume that the constitution takes precedent.
     
  11. Wastl

    Wastl Warlord

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    Again, that is simply not correct.

    Obama cannot serve as candidate for the office of president or vice-president, because both require the criteria of being eligible to be voted in as president. Obama couldn't be declared as new VP after the old one drops out either, because the same situation still applies. Per the 12th amendment, "no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the United States." This doesn't say that it only applies to those voted into the office, as such, it applies to everyone who would serve, even those coming in as replacement-VPs. Obama doesn't meet that criteria. Ford never served as president, thus he could come in as unelected VP and take over without any problems.

    Obama couldn't serve as acting president either, because the presidential succession act clearly states that a person who is ineligible to be voted for as presidential candidate (= someone who already served his two terms) will be ignored when it comes to the application of said act. So even if Obama would hold an office which technically would put him in the line of succession, he simply would be ignored.
     
  12. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Mansplaining Fool

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    Well this thread could have been killed off a lot sooner if the 12th amendment had been quoted before.
     
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  13. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    Although, if I were Obama's attorney, I would point out the language of the 12 Amendment is "...no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States." The 22nd Amendment doesn't make Obama "ineligible to the office," it just makes him ineligible to be elected to the office.
     
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  14. BenitoChavez

    BenitoChavez Whispering Walrus

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    Easy work around is for Obama to become the Speaker of the House of Representatives, have both the President and Vice President die/resign and boom, we have Obama’s 3rd term
     

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