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Old 11-07-2019, 08:37 PM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 21,015

Can an acting president (of the US) do anything the president can or are they just a seat warmer?

NOTE: This has nothing to do with current politics. I was watching a TV show where Air Force One goes missing with the president and the Secretary of State is sworn in as acting president (I know, I show managed to contrive it so the Sec State got it).

My question is, if the president is missing (no one knows what happened...could be dead, could be going walkabout, could be walking the Appalachian Trail) and a temporary president is sworn in can the temporary president do anything the president can while they have the seat? Let's say start issuing executive orders? Order troops deployed or moved? Launch nukes? That sort of thing?

I get that they will not have a lot (or any) support from the rest of the government to do such things till the disposition of the original president is known but still...could they succeed in pulling off some unilateral shenanigans while they have the position? Or are they literally only authorized to keep the seat warm and be there to respond to only the most pressing questions that only a president can respond to?
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 11-07-2019 at 08:41 PM.