How do I become president or chief of staff?

What path do I take to get there? What do i need to major in? what jobs do i need to get? who do i need to know?

I looked up on how to become president, but let’s focus on chief of staff. That’s more what I want.

how to become COS?

You want to become CoS to kill all the humans?

My serious answer: sheer dumb luck. You have to be the number one confidant of someone who happens to be elected President. It isn’t the type of job one should ever hope to get: one could run for President and win or lose, there’s really no way to run for Chief of Staff.

Challenge Bush to an Arm-Wrestling competition.

He’s Bender?

Not necessarily. Cheney and Rumsfeld were White House Chiefs of Staff. They’ve been in and out of the White House more times than Monica Lewinsky. So xkcd could ultimately become Vice President or Secretary of Defense, and thus become the proverbial smoking man.


Do both and then report back.

So what should I become?


Secretary of Defense



I need to know.

Try finishing high school first. That’s an important prerequisite.

On a more serious note, I would guess that nobody in the history of the United States who ever got into one of these positions ever asked a question like yours. Even in high school they were already active in politics because that was their obsession. You can’t decide to dabble in something that takes every minute of your waking life for all of your adult years. Success only comes to the successful.

Okay thanks mr. shit on my dreams

I’m 22. Someone tell me how to become COS or Secretary of Defense.

We have told you. You just haven’t listened.

The only answers so far have basically said

‘you won’t’


‘dumb luck’

K thanks, what else can I do to become COS/SODefense? What to major in, what to do.

Mr. Tancredo is that you?

I told you. It’s the same advice we give people who say “I want to write a movie” or any other long-term, low-probability dream.

Go out and live it. There is no path. George Bush and Dick Cheney did not follow a path. They aren’t even lawyers. Neither is Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defense. Neither Cheney nor Gates has an ivy league degree either. Josh Bolton, the current COS, is a lawyer and an ivy league graduate, but Andrew Card, the previous COS was neither.

There is no path. You make your own dreams. If they can be shit on, they will never come true.

Or maybe a better question would be ‘who can i ask that would know the answer, b/c apparently you don’t?’

Joshua B. Bolton? Robert Gates? Anybody who is now or has been in the past the holder of either of those positions?

The reason you’re not getting the answers you want is because you want to know the straight-shot path to attaining one of these positions, and there isn’t one. You basically have to be part of the Inner Circle of the President. You do that by either being a family friend, a Fortune 500 CEO, or a massive contributor to his/her campaign. If you’re 22 and have only a passing interest in politics, then you won’t even get a job as a White House intern. As stated before, if you have to ask how to do it, then you can’t do it.

However, lifelong service as an officer in the U.S. military is the only real good way to get on the ins. Chiefs of Staff are typically picked from a handful of active or retired four-star generals. Becoming a four-star general is extremely difficult. Becoming a four-star general and an ear to the President is next to impossible if you have no prior relationship with anyone in the White House.

Besides, if you’re only interested in the top-level executive jobs because you’ll gain access to the country’s deepest, darkest secrets, then you’ve already failed, sorry to say. And really, the classified information isn’t as sexy as you think it is.

I think you mean ‘isn’t as sexy’

Yes, I made the edit already.