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Old 11-09-2019, 12:14 PM
JRDelirious is offline
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Join Date: Aug 1999
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Posts: 16,122
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
What an acting president can do legally and what they can do politically are two different things. Although an acting prez could start issuing executive orders that goes against the grain of the current administration's direction, he could get a lot of friction from WH staff, cabinet, Congress, etc.

No; it's not a hypothetical. VP Bush was acting president when Reagan was shot.
Only while he was under general anesthetic, and apparently it was never officialized because in the rush nobody bothered to issue the declaration and by the time Bush's plane had landed Reagan was awake. It is more clear in three later instances, once again for Reagan and twice for W, when the same happened for other surgeries, with the POTUS issuing the note that they'd be momentarily incapacitated and then another one saying "OK I'm back" and the VP assuming as Acting Prez for a couple of hours at most.

Basically under those circumstances the Acting Prez is there in case there is some emergency that requires immediate presidential action (as in, someone needs to open the envelope with the Launch Codes) while the regular guy is knocked out.