Notes on the Atrocities
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Tuesday, May 04, 2004  

Can Clinton be Kerry's Veep?

I pose this question hypothetically--I'd hate to see him on the ticket. Nevertheless, I'm seeing it suggested more frequently (most recently on a comment to one of my posts today). The 22nd Amendment was the "FDR fix" that barred popular presidents from becoming de facto kings. But what about ex-presidents running for Veep? The text of the amendment is ambiguous:

Section 1. 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.

(There are further provisions, but they all address logistics for presidents in office when the amendment was ratified.) So the question becomes one of interpretation: "and no person ... shall be elected to the office of the President more than once." If you run as Veep, does that count? This seems like one of those D'oh! moments--it probably never occurred to lawmakers that an ex-president would want to run as Veep. Until recently, it was an ignominious position--a consolation prize for a lame politician. Who'd want it? But post-Cheney, we may have to reconsider.

Seems from my reading that it would be constitutional for Clinton to join Kerry on the ticket. Perhaps there are more learned opinions out there than mine (by which I mean any opinion).

posted by Jeff | 9:42 AM |
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