Clinton and the 22nd

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by bradl, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    Another question for the resident lawyers here.

    I was talking with a friend of mine last week, who is part of the consensus that Hillary Clinton could and might make a 2016 run for POTUS. While that is still 4 years off, that's not too far of a stretch to see her do.

    However, what he mentioned would be a potential landslide victory for her, let alone prove how much of a political powerhouse she is, he also posed what would happen if she chose Bill Clinton as her running mate. I had to agree that that would make them the most powerful political family in the history of the country (beating out Bush, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Harrison), but it also got me thinking.. It would be the first time that a married couple would run for office, but going further than that (and just go along with the hypothetical here)..

    Say this does happen and Hillary wins. Let's also say that the worst happens and she dies in office. This would mean that the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution would not apply, meaning that Bill would have to serve out the remaining years of Hillary's term, correct? Bill would not have been elected, which is what the 22nd explicitly states can not happen. But if I am reading this right, it could mean that any two-term president could serve as Vice President, and assume the role of President should the elected POTUS dies or resigns the office.

    Yes, I'm trying to weave a nasty web here that could lead toward another constitutional amendment, but I don't think something like this has been discussed (here, in the political spectrum, or otherwise).

  2. chown33, Nov 27, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

    chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    See here:

    Short answer: the Supreme Court would have to decide.

    Absent the 12th amendment, the 22nd is quite clear: it qualifies who can be elected to the office of the President.
    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. ... [Emphasis added]

    Oops, almost forgot. There's also the "residency limitation":
  3. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
  4. thewitt macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2011
    Never happen.

    First off, Hilary would never get the nomination. She has way too much dirt now.

    Secondly Bill's ego would not allow it. Ever.
  5. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    I don't think so. Hillary may end up being a presidential candidate but Bill wouldn't be her running mate.
  6. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States

    Meh I disagree. I think Hillary could and would do it. Definitely wouldn't choose Bill as her running mate though. That won't work.
  7. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    What dirt?

    You mean killing Vincent Foster?

    Dude, that happened years ago.

  8. kavika411 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2006
    I largely agree. I personally think Hillary Clinton has done a stellar job as Secretary of State. It's unfortunate that the Benghazi mess occurred at the end of her watch, but I don't know if that would qualify as "dirt" per se for her. I'd say more, but I don't care incite the but but but Benghazi! PRSI meme-ing.
  9. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    If she runs prepare to have a Republican president in 2016. She is weaker than Obama and Obama just barely pulled out of this last election.
  10. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Hillary has said tons of times she's retiring and she won't be running in 2016. Until she says otherwise (which is highly unlikely) this thread is just baseless speculation and quite pointless.

    If you want to speculate about 2016 (which is pretty pointless considering it's 4 years away and President Obama hasn't even been inaugurated for his 2nd term) you need to start looking outside the box for candidates. It's definitely not going to be Hillary.
  11. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    Bill has a very bad heart. There's no way that he would be up for VP. End of story.

    Hilary running would bring out all the haters. The only person they hate more than Obama is a Clinton.
  12. bradl thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    Not to be blunt, but what part of "follow the hypothetical" is not understood here. I did not start the thread based on whether she will run or not; I started the thread based on the legality of a previous POTUS having the means to become POTUS again.

    You do realize that if this holds up, both Bushes would be in the same situation, right? Or is this one of those things where "we nuts on the left just don't have a clue"? :rolleyes:

  13. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    I disagree on the first part. For the Dems I think Clinton is a VERY strong candidate and if not for the perfect political storm back in 2008 she would have gotten the nomination then. People have short memories, so the negative association people had with the Clinton name has dried up. Since then she's been a senator and a pretty dang good Secretary of State.

    On the second part.....I agree 1000%.
  14. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    You are forgetting the third Bush that may very well run in 2016.
    Let me throw out a curve ball for 2016, Colin Powell to run as a Democrat.
  15. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Jan 30, 2004
    having a drink at Milliways
    i agree with ugahairydogs.

    if she wanted she could run and would be a good candidate and a great president (in my opinion). the last few years only added to her status bith directly (as an excellent senator and secretary of state) and indirectly (longer time from the old scandals. that said, i do't think she'll run.

    as far as Bill being VP, i think there are zero chances, because he is too old, too frail and he wouldn't want to be the actual official #2 to Hillary.

    as far as the legality of a twice-elected president being on the ticket as vice-president, i don't think it's clear cut, mainly because of the 12th amendment.
    if the issue comes up (which i highly doubt), it will be for the court to settle.

    for what is worth, bush jr. would be in the same situation, while bush sr. would be eligible to run again (as a VP to jeb? :D)
  16. APlotdevice, Nov 27, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

    APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    Faulty logic. Romney lost to McCain in the 2008 primaries, yet ultimately faired better than him in the 2012 general election. Plus it's not unprecedented for a candidate to lose in a primary or even general election only to ultimately win the Presidency a few years later.

    Though to say Obama barely pulled out this time isn't particularly accurate either. Outside of conservative media the outcome was pretty clear weeks before this election even occurred.
  17. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2009
    Yeah..he just "barely" pulled out. Funny no one was saying that about any of these other Presidential wins:
  18. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    Oh cool - another non liberal running as a Democrat. Sounds good for the party.

    I think he's swell and all, but I'd probably pass.
  19. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I wouldn't call a 332-206 EV win and being the first Democratic candidate since FDR to win a majority of the popular vote in consecutive elections just barely pulling out.
  20. Sydde macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
    Yeah, well, Hillary will turn 69 about a week before the 2016 election. I do not think she wants to retire to 1600, she is ready even now for some nice white sand on Barbados and maybe a bit of humanitarian work. Colin Powell, just toss that idea in the round file, he would turn 80 just after inauguration. I hate to be "age-ist" but the point of term limits and elections is to get some relative youth and vigour into the WH. John Ellis Bush might have viability, but only if the country feels like looking at another Bush. I suspect 2016 will be even stranger than any of us can imagine.
  21. mcrain macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2002
    My con-law prof. argued that the 22nd would allow a two term president to serve as vice-president indefinately. However, if the president died or was incapacitated, the former president/VP could only act as president for an additional two years. 10 years max.
  22. bradl thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    Interesting that your professor would take that argument. Is it relative to what happened with Johnson, after Kennedy was assassinated? If so, there's the precedent that affirms that clause in the 22nd.

    If this were to happen, I believe Clinton still has a residence in Arkansas. Funny how when Cheney was chosen for the vPOTUS ticket, he very quickly "moved" to Jackson Hole, as he also lived in Texas along with Bush.

    thanks for the facts, you two.. this is good to know.

  23. kthnxshwn macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2010
    Hillary wouldn't chose her husband as the vice presidential running mate. </thread>
  24. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Jan 30, 2004
    having a drink at Milliways
    what do you mean by 10 years max?

    i think that if a 2-terms president was tapped for VP and accepted, the question would be immediately addressed by the supreme court, which would decide one way or another.
    if they decided to let him run and the ticket won the election, he would be a fully effective VP. Thus, if the elected President was to pass after even one month, the VP would be President till the end of the mandate.
    I don't see any basis for the 10 years
  25. bradl, Nov 28, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012

    bradl thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    I'm not caring about whether she would or wouldn't. I'm showing a hypothetical here. You could easily replace this with John and George W. Bush, and you'd have the same scenario. All things being equal, you could potentially have a son/father POTUS/vPOTUS, and it would be perfectly legal, as well as that father being a former POTUS.

    I'm building the case here that this could potentially happen, and if so who would argue the merits for and against it, not whether they actually would. That is another issue altogether.

    And here you find the other crux in the matter. First to answer your question, reference Kennedy. He was killed 34 months into his term, so Johnson fulfilled the less than 2 years (according to the clause in the 22nd), making him eligible to be elected for another 2 terms outright. 4 x 2 terms = 8 years, plus the 2 years (assuming to the day) from the previous POTUS term gets you the 10 years.

    To your next issue.. let's take this a bit further. Let's say (again, hypothetically) Hillary puts Bill on the vPOTUS ticket, or John puts George W. on his ticket, and they win. Let's then say that for some reason, the POTUS ends up like W.H. Harrison, and passes. That puts them before out of bounds of that remaining 2 years, but would it put them as able to serve more than 10 years, as you'd be looking at nearly 11 - 12 there?

    I ask this, because this may cause parts of the 22nd to be repealed, let alone updated, along with the 12th being updated.


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