Social Question

tedd's avatar

Can a former 2-term president be elected vice president here in the US?

Asked by tedd (14073points) April 30th, 2012

Just wondering. Presidents in the United States are limited to two terms. I believe this means elected terms, as in you could become president via the line of succession (President dies, Vice president dies, etc, etc).. and you could still be elected president twice running as president.

But what about the reverse. Can you run as the vice presidential candidate if you’ve already served two elected terms as president? Could former President Clinton and/or one of the Former Presidents Bush run as VP for Mitt Romney or Obama?

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14 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

I believe so, yes.

The 22nd amendment simply says, “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 is no prohibition there about electing a former president to the vice-presidency, nor does it cover accession to the presidency via succession.

mazingerz88's avatar

What the…I just asked a friend this very question yesterday. I was thinking of Bill Clinton. But then I recalled Monica. The notion went pffft, fast.

thorninmud's avatar

Here is an in-depth exploration of this exact question from the Minnesota Law Review.

Charles's avatar

“There is an open question regarding the interpretation of the Twenty-second Amendment as it relates to the Twelfth Amendment, ratified in 1804, which provides that “no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the United States.”

While it is clear that under the Twelfth Amendment the original constitutional qualifications of age, citizenship, and residency apply to both the President and Vice President, it is unclear if a two-term President could later be elected—or appointed—Vice President. ”


gailcalled's avatar

@thorninmud: May I assume that you read the linked article carefully, and if so, could you please sum up the conclusion?

thorninmud's avatar

@gailcalled A great deal of that text is concerned with the legislative debate that led to the exact wording of the 22nd amendment, to glean from that an indication of Congress’ intent. It points out that prior drafts used language which would have prohibited the scenario we’re discussing, e.g. ruling out further presidential “service”. The authors contend that the final language, which rules out subsequent “election” rather than “service” represents a compromise intentionally reached to make the amendment acceptable to opposing parties in the debate. If the amendment were now to be interpreted as ruling out subsequent “service”, we would in fact be undoing the result of that compromise and thus the intent of the Congress.

wundayatta's avatar

The article says that if a twice-serving president was subsequently elected as vice president, he or she could serve as president again.

JLeslie's avatar

In my opinion, and I am far from an expert of the law, constitution, or anything related, I understand that Vice Presidents need to meet the criteria of Presidents, and so I think a former two term President cannot be a VP.

gailcalled's avatar

@thorninmud: Thank you. That is elegant.

mothermayi's avatar

I would assume they can’t. Imagine they’re serving as VP, but the President is killed. Then the VP would be President again, right?

gailcalled's avatar

Assumptions and vague opinions don’t count. It is a complicated constitutional law question.

See @Charles’ citation and@thorninmud’s elegant summation of some of the issues surrounding the 22d and 12th amendments.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@mazingerz88 – the Monica incident would be a refreshing bit of air. So much more tawdry than arguing about budgets. I’d welcome Bill back for a zillion other reasons, but Monica is frosting on the cake.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

mowens's avatar

Social studies 101… one of the jobs of the VP is to take over for the president should something bad happen. So no, George W Bush cannot run for VP.

George H. W. Bush technically could.

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