I read an article in the Washington Post this morning about the possibility of Bill Clinton running as VP along side Hillary Clinton this next presidential election.
This is just speculation of course, Mrs. Clinton has not stated anywhere that she is planning on running, let alone has Mr. Clinton stated that he would even want to run as vice president. But it is an intriguing idea, don't you think?
My first reaction to this idea was "wow, that would be so great. I love Bill Clinton, even if he wasn't perfect (ie. the not calling what was going on in Rwanda, genocide, and not stepping in sooner, was appalling)."
Can an ex-president who has already been president for two terms, run for vice president? At first, you would think of course not and assume that would violate The Constitution. According to the article though, its highly debatable.
Just as back up information; The Constitution says that a person can be eligible to the Office of President as long as he or she is a natural-born U.S. citizen, at least 35 years old and a resident of the United States for 14 years. Okay, so what does that have to do with being a VP? Well, the 12th Amendment says in Article II, that no person who is constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President. Amendment 22 says that a person cannot be elected president that has previously been president for 2 terms.
Well, that makes sense, right? Maybe not.
Think of it this way: This suggests that a president cannot be ELECTED president for more than two terms, it doesn't say anything about SERVING as president.
If say, Hillary became incapacitated or assassinated, Bill would then serve his duty as VP and serve as president. He would not have been elected, Hillary was elected. He would be serving as president. He just wouldn't be able to run for president the next term from that post.
So this is where the debate comes in. Doesn't that seem unfair? That an ex-president could possibly weasel his way into a 3rd term? Wouldn't that be a disrespect to the whole Roosevelt thing? A complete disregard of what obviously is morally fair? Well, politics isn't about morals. at least on paper.
Here is where you can get nit picky. You could say that if Hillary runs for president with Bill as her VP, the American people would be voting for them as a package, not one or the other. So, he would therefore be technically elected if he ended up having to take office. "Electing a president means electing a vice president and contingently electing him as president."
I don't know, I sort of agree with the notion that he would technically be ELECTED, not SERVING as president. I think it only seems fair. If say Mrs. Bush ran for president and Mr. Bush ran as VP- that would just seem..... well, COMPLETELY WRONG and almost fascist.
Perhaps since people are living longer now, we should amend the whole Roosevelt inspired amendment. Maybe it should be that a president cannot run for more than 2 terms in a row, but can run again for a third term at a later date?