Barack Obama as cabinet member

Since Barack Obama cannot serve a third term as president would he be barred from serving as a cabinet member for the incoming president. No one would be better prepared to serve as an adviser to the next president, INHO.

There’s no restriction against Obama serving in the cabinet. He wouldn’t be eligible to serve as President again, but the Presidential Succession Act would just skip right over him to the next person on the list.

However, it would be a horrible idea for any President to put a former President in the Cabinet. It would instantly set up a “Who’s really in charge here?” problem that no President needs.

The best way for a former President to advise is the way they always have – wait to be asked and offer your opinion in private.

There have been cabinet members not eligible to be President before, usually because they weren’t natural born citizens, the most recent being the current Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, who’s British originally.

How many Presidents have stayed in Government after the Presidency?

Taft was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and I’m pretty sure there was someone who went back to the Senate (or became a Senator for the first time?). Am I right about that? If so, who was it?

John Quincy Adams spent lotsa post-Presidency time in the House of Representatives.

Andrew Johnson.

When the Cabinet members entered the House for the speech, someone on CNN mentioned that some of the cabinet members were ineligible to be the “one left behind” because it had to be somebody who was eligible to be President, given that the entire reason for leaving a cabinet member behind in the first place was to make sure that somebody could immediately take over as President should something catastrophic happen at the address.

Besides - since the minimum age to be Speaker of the House is 25, the Speaker can be someone ineligible to be President. In fact, going by the original Constitution, the Vice President only had to be 30, so it was theoretically possible that the VP couldn’t become President; this was fixed in the 12th Amendment.

Apparently it’s tough finding a steady job once you’ve been President. It takes “overqualified” up to a whole new level.

John Tyler was elected to Congress after his Presidency. Unfortunately for his legacy, it was not the United States Congress.

Are you sure about that? Under the original Constitution, the Vice President was whoever got the second highest number of votes for President. So the qualifications would have been the same.

In Canada, former Prime Minister Joe Clark served with distinction in the Cabinet of Brian Mulroney, the guy who pushed him out of the PC party leadership just one year before. Dynamics are quite different in parliamentary systems, of course, so I doubt very much that you would see a former President in the Cabinet - especially one who beat the former President e.g in a primary challenge for the party nomination.

I doubt that President Trump is going to be interested.

That’s really not the situation I was envisioning, lol.

I know. :wink:

Wasn’t the smart money on the Supreme Court or Secretary-General of the UN as his next high-profile job?

Maybe some people’s money but not the smart money.

Indeed. People always seem to think the latest president is bound for lesser positions.

Curious what job for Obama your money would back, and whether you consider yours “smart” or not?

I see something kinda in the footsteps of Bush I or Carter or Tony Blair of the UK. Remaining on the worthy lecture circuit and launch some sort of foundation to do international do-goodery.

I think Obama’s actual personal interest would be more in doing domestic anti-inequality do-goodery, but in that line of work it’s hard to avoid stepping on the then-current administration’s toes. Better to attack some disease endemic to some Third World country.

Well, if he went to the Supreme Court he would become an unaccountable activist judge and rewrite the constitution. As the Secretary General of the UN he could get things moving on this one world government thing we’re all worried about. So really, both positions would be more powerful than mere President.

Eta: LSLGuy, there’s no way a former President gets the UN job and he’s not a practising lawyer. I don’t know what he’ll decide to do but it ain’t one of those things.

I said when we discussed this back in 2013 that I thought Obama would return to the Senate, and I’m still standing by that prediction.