A recent Onion article about Bill Clinton deciding to run again for President made me wonder about actual ex-Presidents who tried to get back into the Oval Office.
Offhand I could only think of three. The obvious one is Grover Cleveland, who’s the only ex-President to successfully run for the Presidency. And Teddy Roosevelt said he was retiring in 1908 but then changed his mind and tried to get re-elected in 1912. And Millard Fillmore ran as the candidate for the American Party in 1856.
And both Fillmore and Cleveland had only served one term. Technically, Roosevelt had also served only one term, but he had also served more than two years of McKinley’s term, which would have barred him if the 22nd Amendment had been in effect at the time.
Only four men have ever been prohibited from running by the prohibition of the 22nd Amendment: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald W. Reagan, William J. Clinton. and George W. Bush. (It would be interesting to know its application to Richard M. Nixon, who resigned before serving half of the second term to which he had been reelected; I suspect by its exact terms it disqualifies him as well.
At the time the amendment was passed there was only one living ex-President: Herbert C. Hoover, who had served only one term. As noted by Elv1sLives, Mr. Truman as the incumbent President was expressly exempted.
“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.”
Nixon was elected twice, so the front door was closed. Another President could perhaps have nominated him between inauguaration to serve o ut a partial term as VP, then left office and put him back in, but that’s the only way the back door would have been open to him.
I don’t think so. This is equivalent to the oft-asked question about whether Bill Clinton could be elected or appointed vice-president. The usual answer given is no. A vice president has to be constitutionally available to be president. Nixon’s having been elected twice bars him from the presidency so it also bars him from the vice-presidency.
Van Buren should definitely count, IMO, if you are counting Teddy Roosevelt’s “Bull Moose” bid. Similar situation. Van Buren ran in 1848 as a candidate of the “Free Soil” party, which was short-lived but a significant force. Van Buren pulled 10% of the popular vote, and didn’t get any electoral votes. However, he may well have split the Democratic vote enough to have handed the election to the whig, Zachary Taylor, who was elected with a minority of the popular vote. In particular, Taylor took New York state, the major base of Free Soiler support, and with enough electoral votes to have swung the election the other way.
Well, I like to think of it in the same way that mathematicians think of certain propositions. They can’t be proved one way or the way with the structure of mathematics, but if they aren’t true then everything goes out the window.
They weren’t actual candidates per se, but Franklin Pierce received 3 votes at the 1868 Democratic National Convention, William Howard Taft received 14 votes at the 1916 Republican National Convention, Calvin Coolidge received 5 votes at the 1932 Republican National Convention, and Herbert Hoover received 32 votes at the 1940 Republican National Convention.
Coolidge had been proposed by former Sen. Joseph France, who had been campaigning against Hoover’s renomination, but I am not sure about why the others received the votes they did (none were anywhere close to nominated).
What happens if you did two terms, and then get picked as vice president by the elected president? Does the law ever stop them from being vice president? Could they serve once if the president died and they were vice president? Could they serve a second if they went over that earlier limit of about half a term? Does the law get circumvented, buy not running for president, but taking the office every time the president dies and they are vice president? Is it a loophole allowing for decades in the office, if they could arrange things right?