President Cheney's Portrait..

Does Cheney get an official Presidential portrait? Or does he get any other special symbolic stuff due to being “President” for 2 hours?

If not, what are the criteria that decide whether you are officially counted as one of the US Presidents in the history books?

If Bush died 5 days before the end of his term, and Cheney was President for 5 days would he get counted??


Cheney was just filling in for the president under the terms of the 25th amendment. He did not become president. He didn’t take the oath of office for president. That’s the key.

The answer to your second answer really must be “yes”, simply because Cheney would be the president, end of story. Though it would be odd to have the VP sworn in with a president-elect waiting in the wings.

Acting President is not the same thing as President.

If Bush were to die five days before the end of his term, then Cheney would indeed become President. He could certainly instruct the White House staff not to bother with a portrait if he felt it was too ostentatious.

But knowing him, he’d build a monument to himself out of human skulls.

We’ve never had a President die (or resign or get kicked out via impeachment) after the election which would have ended his term, so there’s not precedent for that. But we have had something similar: President William Henry Harrison died after less than a month in office, but he’s still counted by all the history books as one of the Presidents of the United States. If a brief span at the beginning of a term is enough to qualify, I don’t see why a brief span at the end of a term wouldn’t.

If he does have a portrait, I bet it’s one of those ones whose eyes eerily follow you as you move about the room.

Nah, it’s in an attic someplace, slowly getting gentlier and more compassionate looking.

It’s a tradition, but it’s not a clear legal requirement that the VP take the oath when assuming the presidency. Tyler didn’t want to take the oath after Harrison died. He considered that the oath he took when he became VP covered the situation. He finally caved to pressure from the cabinet two days after Harrison died and took the oath. But he became president as soon as Harrison died.

The Cheney situation is different, because it’s covered by the 25th Amendment. It’s clear that Cheney was only “Acting President” not President.

Cheney, of course, is Vice-President, so according to tradition a bust will be commissioned of his likeness and it will be displayed for eternity in the Senate wing of the Capitol.

He’ll join Aaron Burr, the less funky George Clinton, Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon, LBJ, Spiro Agnew, Walter Mondale, and Dan Quayle.

Just goes to show that white marble improves very few men.

The bust for Gore hasn’t been completed, near as I can tell. Searching for “Gore” and “bust” in any search engine produces sadly predictable results.

Something like this happened in Florida. Lt. Governor Buddy McKay became governor for less than a month in 1998, because Lawton Chiles died before the end of his term. McKay had lost the election to Jeb Bush, but Bush had to wait until the end of the term.

Wiki Link

I agree that this is the common interpretation, but I’m paranoid enough to think that, if he wanted too, Cheney could come up with an interpretation that said he was fully President, much as he recently asserted that the Vice President is not part of the executive branch. “It is clear” is a dangerous phrase to use around him…

Knowing him, I’m not sure you should use the future tense in this sentence.