Bubba for VP
March 3, 2004 5:39 PM   Subscribe

 
Man, I gotta look into the field of 22nd Amendment law. There's gotta be big money in that.
posted by PrinceValium at 5:42 PM on March 3, 2004


Can't Bill find himself another job? Jeez, it's not like there aren't a lot of things he could be doing.

And anyway he may very well wind up back in the White House again as First Gentlemen.
posted by orange swan at 5:49 PM on March 3, 2004


umm... there's that pesky 12th amendment ratified back in what, 1804? "no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States."

Wonder what that'll mean for Uncle Billy's chances.
posted by swerdloff at 5:51 PM on March 3, 2004


Law professor Eugene Volokh has a lengthy post on the legalities of the matter with references and answers from the author of the NYTimes article. While he doesn't sound convinced it does seem like it's a little bit possible.

I don't know, it seems like the rules are being bent a little, even though Clinton would actually make me like Kerry more.
posted by mathowie at 5:54 PM on March 3, 2004


I guess the Supreme Court could decide otherwise, but does that mean people under 35, not born in America, etc. could be Vice-President?

On second thought, maybe he isn't... "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice..." ooh that is tricky.... He'd actually be elected to Vice, not President. Dang it, is politics in America in such bad shape that we're perpetually stuck with Bushes and Clintons?
posted by ALongDecember at 5:54 PM on March 3, 2004


If he can't be VP on 22nd amendment grounds, then he can't be Secretary of State or Attorney General, or hold any other position in the line of succession. I can't imagine that would hold up in court.

As much as I would LOVE to see Clinton back in office--if only to spite those miserable bastards--I don't think the Dems have the balls to put him on the ticket.
posted by jpoulos at 5:55 PM on March 3, 2004


If he can't be VP on 22nd amendment grounds, then he can't be Secretary of State or Attorney General.

Funny, that doesn't seem to have disqualified Henry Kissinger or Madeleine Albright...
posted by Slothrup at 6:05 PM on March 3, 2004


Elaine Chao is allowed to be Sec. of Labor even though she can't be president since she wasn't born in the U.S., she just is taken out of the sucession order.
posted by ALongDecember at 6:06 PM on March 3, 2004


If he can't be VP on 22nd amendment grounds, then he can't be Secretary of State or Attorney General.

The 22nd amendment would only disqualify Clinton from VP in light of the already-mentioned 12th amendment, which only mentions the office of VP as needing to meet the eligibility requirements of the President in order to hold the office. It does not mention anything else about the other offices in the line of succession. The (very theoretical) question is, does the 22nd amnd. make Clinton "inelegible" or not?
posted by deadcowdan at 6:13 PM on March 3, 2004


So, the "no" argument goes like this:

1.Clinton has been twice elected President.
2.By the 22nd Amendment, he is not eligible to be elected President again.
3.So, by the 12th Amendment, he is not eligible to be elected Vice-President.

Is that right?
posted by crunchburger at 6:19 PM on March 3, 2004


crunch: correct. Clinton is constitutionally ineligible to be VP. If he fills any other cabinet position, he is waived from the line of succession.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:32 PM on March 3, 2004


Given the uncertainty, there's no way that Kerry could risk choosing a VP candidate that might be found to be ineligible prior to the election. It would be quite embarassing to have to refashion your campaign (not to mention all the sign/sticker/button changes).

Given the uncertainty of the situation and the Supreme Court's refusal to issue advisory opinions (I think), I'm not sure this question will get resolved by the Courts any time soon. You'd have to have a two-term President who was willing to be a VP candidate to someone who's willing to risk that their ticket might be changed before election day. Someone willing to take that risk a) really needs the vp candidate and/or b) is a long shot candidate to begin with, so what the hell.

Or of course, the VP candidate could be the Presidential candidate's husband, and the hope would be running together would save the marriage...
posted by buddha9090 at 6:39 PM on March 3, 2004


Anyone here ever seen "My Fellow Americans"? :P
posted by angry modem at 6:44 PM on March 3, 2004


Carter only got one term--how about him? : >
posted by amberglow at 6:47 PM on March 3, 2004


Kerry would be greatly diminished as President with the more charismatic Clinton as VP. Unless Clinton pulls a Cheney and becomes the groundhog who comes out every so often to see if Haliburton is doing ok.
posted by Postroad at 6:54 PM on March 3, 2004


It's that phrase "constitutionally ineligible" in the 12th Amendment that's the kicker; Volokh's post includes this clarification from Gillers, the author of the NYT piece:

The 12th Am. says: "But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the United States."

Its mention of eligibility is a reference to Article 2, which say a person is "eligible" to be president only if he or she is 35, a natural born citizen, and living 14 years in the U.S. Clinton is eligible under this test.

Under the later 22nd Am., Clinton is only constitutionally unable to be "elected" president. He is not ineligible to be president for these Article 2 reasons. If the drafters of the amendment wanted to block succession as a path to the presidency, they could have added the words "or vice-president" to the 22nd Am. or used some other exclusionary language.


Now, I'd actually loooooove a Kerry/Clinton ticket, it's just so funny and fuck-you and arrogant in all the ways that the Dems never bother to be, even when they have a right to be. But I will say that, the above loophole aside, Clinton being VP does seem to be somewhat contrary to the spirit of the 12th amendment, as somebody mentioned above, if not the letter. Exploiting funny little loopholes in the Constitution doesn't seem like a road we should be going down at this particular moment -- "You see, when it says 'equal rights,' it doesn't necessarily mean 'rights' per se..."

Maybe if Clinton came aboard with an express statement that he's removed himself from the succession order and wouldn't even think about making a play for the hot seat, the controversy would be cut off? (And maybe monkeys might fly out of my butt?)
posted by logovisual at 6:58 PM on March 3, 2004


I seem to remember that Americans, once upon a time, fought a rather nasty war to kick out of their continent the same guys whose nation was once torn by a 30-year-war between opposing Yorkist and Lancastrian factions.
nice to see how history sometimes comes full circle
posted by matteo at 6:58 PM on March 3, 2004



on the other hand, ideology seemed to play a small role in the choice of one's sides during the War of the Roses, and sometimes loyalists actually ended up switching sides in a ever-confusing fight for legitimacy --
hmmmm
*shudder*


posted by matteo at 7:01 PM on March 3, 2004


Well, there is the pesky problem that Clinton would be a lightning rod of a candidate that would reopen that whole pesky character thing. Bush's biggest weak point is the trust issue starting from closed-door meetings on energy policy, who mislead whom on Iraqi WMDs, to obstruction of groups investigating intelligence failures behind 9-11. The last thing that the Dems want to do is extend an open invitation to revisit Monicagate again.

Clinton has a love/hate relationship even among people who want to see Bush out of office. I would have a very tough time voting him into any office, even one as trivial as hamlet dogcatcher.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:16 PM on March 3, 2004


Good galloping lord. Now there's a case study in how corrupt and inbred the entire process is. Sad, really, and deeply worrying.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:06 PM on March 3, 2004


Clinton would be a marvel to behold on the campaign trail -

He's got sax on the brain!
posted by troutfishing at 8:14 PM on March 3, 2004


Ugh, rereading the Gillers article I'm just struck by how misguided the attempt to draft Clinton is. The bottom line is that even if we grant that Whitewater was a fishing expedition and the impeachment an attempted legislative coup d'etat, we still have to wrestle with the fact that he did lie under oath, and has been professionally censured for it. There is the lurking bad blood over what appears to be a pattern of sexual harassment by Clinton that would make him unacceptable to many feminist voters. There is also the deep wedge between the liberal left and centrist Democrats that fueled Nader's 2000 campaign.

Putting Clinton on the ticket would mean giving up any high ground for complaining about Bush's tendency to play fast and loose with facts. I just don't see how this could be a winning situation for Kerry.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:27 PM on March 3, 2004


Carter only got one term--how about him?

He would seem a youthful alternative to Cheney.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:39 PM on March 3, 2004


Tut tut..........Cheney's just geriatric in heart and spirit. His brain's still quite energetic.

Well, maybe Cheney's brain is a bit stuck on oil, but it's still vigorous - in a viciously predictable sort of way...

OK, Cheney's OLD, godamn it!

All that fatty beef.....

Meanwhile - how's ol' Bill doing, anyway?
posted by troutfishing at 8:46 PM on March 3, 2004


There's no way that the SCOTUS would permit Clinton to be president. It would take some twisted logic to justify that, from a constitutional standpoint.

Cheney's OLD, godamn it!

Cheney is 63. Bush is 57. There's really not that much daylight between the two, in terms of age.
posted by waldo at 9:13 PM on March 3, 2004


Kerry and Clinton
I would vote for that.

But then again, I'd vote for anything that brings back Democracy to the land that defined it. Anyone opposing Bush getting dethroned is either a) stupid b) pro-fascist or c) a sympathizer ... or d) purely stupid despite the internet as a means of information or f) a tool, without independant thought able to be manipulated through advertising and mass-messaging or shit, g) plain blind.

REGIME CHANGE IN 2004!! WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP!
posted by Peter H at 9:45 PM on March 3, 2004


and yeah, there is no e)
We all went to gradeschool and should know that. But for the under-educated people who aren't billionaires, oil-men or killers, and think that Bush gives two shits about them, I thought I'd clarify.

(and p.s. I'm in Texas as I write this)

Me, I'm just wondering how many Republicans, with the legacy that Lincoln gives them. Oldschool Republicans, how can you look at yourself in the mirror? You went from Lincoln to assholes in under ten decades.

p.s. REGIME CHANGE IN 2004! you did it to IRAQ in 2003! DO IT TO THE U.S. IN 2004! WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP!!!
posted by Peter H at 9:51 PM on March 3, 2004


Anyone opposing Bush getting dethroned is either a) stupid b) pro-fascist or c) a sympathizer ... or d) purely stupid despite the internet as a means of information or f) a tool, without independant thought able to be manipulated through advertising and mass-messaging or shit, g) plain blind.

No wonder I'm sucking it up so much in school. Or then again, maybe I can be brainwashed into voting a different tool, without independant thought able to be manipulated through advertising and mass-messaging or shit by such wonderful reasoning as listed in steps a-g.

Its funny, I'm a Republican, but I don't like Bush very much (I don't think he's the antichrist or anything, I just don't like him). But every time I see crap like this, I get a sour taste in my mouth about voting for a Democrat. Then again, while I don't want to vote for Bush, I also have a hard time voting for somebody I don't like (ie, Kerry) so someone I like even less doesn't get into office?!? Makes me sick.
posted by jmd82 at 10:21 PM on March 3, 2004


I'd vote for anything that brings back Democracy to the land that defined it.

What, Greece?

jmd82 : If your decisions about how you will vote are influenced by random internet people whose mode of political discourse is indistinguishable from their best impersonation of a drunken frat boy cheering a stripper, I'd suggest that you might not be taking your democratic duties as seriously as you might.

Democracy is also for the dumb.

Then again, if you're poor and dumb, you're shit out of luck. But it's always been that way, after all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:52 PM on March 3, 2004


even though Clinton would actually make me like Kerry more.

You people are *insane*. Do you want to assemble some sort of imaginary dream-team administration and leave Bush in the White House, or do you want to win?

See also: those issuing gay marriage licenses right now Do you realize you're playing this straight into the hands of Mr. Rove?

Anyone reading a double entendre into that last sentence will be shot
posted by namespan at 10:57 PM on March 3, 2004


Stavros: point well taken, I was more ranting than anything else about that.
Its moreso that I don't want to vote for somebody I don't like just for the sake of not voting for someone I don't like even more- that is what really annoys me about the whole process. Right now, I'm planning on voting neither dem/rep as I can't support either candidate and Nader's never done it for me. Hum, maybe I'll just write myself in.
posted by jmd82 at 10:59 PM on March 3, 2004


I also have a hard time voting for somebody I don't like (ie, Kerry) so someone I like even less doesn't get into office
This is an attitude that annoys me greatly. The way voting in a democracy works is that you only get to choose from those who have been nominated. The job of the voter is to decide which of the nominees is most capable of doing the job, not to decide that you don't like any of them and throw your hands in the air saying "well, I won't vote for anyone then". Deciding not to choose any of them is waiving your right to complain about whichever one gets elected, in my very humble opinion. As with everything in life, rights come with responsibility - you have a right to a vote and a responsibility to use that vote as wisely as you can.
posted by dg at 11:31 PM on March 3, 2004


Come on. Nobody who's been president is going to willingly go back as vice president. What does it do for your legacy when you go from being the most powerful man in the world to the guy that attends funerals not important enough for the president to show up at?
posted by boltman at 11:36 PM on March 3, 2004


Come on. Nobody who's been president is going to willingly go back as vice president.

But this is the CEO presidency era, where the vp is the powerful one.
posted by drezdn at 11:58 PM on March 3, 2004


you have a right to a vote and a responsibility to use that vote as wisely as you can.

And in Australia, if I'm not mistaken, dg, you're more than entitled to cast a vote as a citizen and duty-bound to do it in the participatory sense of 'participatory democracy', you're required to do it, yeah? That seems to me a good -- if perhaps controversial to some -- way of approaching it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:01 AM on March 4, 2004


You people are *insane*. Do you want to assemble some sort of imaginary dream-team administration and leave Bush in the White House, or do you want to win?

Bingo, er, well, namespan's right on the money here. Clinton on the ticket would energize the Republican base like nothing else, even erstwhile efforts to codify bigotry into the Constitution. As much as many moderate Repubs may be tired of/wary of/wishing for someone better than Bush, there is no chance in hell that they'd ever give Clinton another opportunity to get anywhere near the seat of power again. Ever. (Either Clinton.)
posted by Dreama at 1:24 AM on March 4, 2004


What happens when both parties nominate tickets that include people who are unfit for office? I would happily vote for a constitutional amendment that would keep both former Iran-Contra wonks like Elliot Abrams and John Pondexter, and disbared for perjury lawyers like Bill Clinton out of government office.

A basic understanding of democracy is that rights are not contingent on other rights. I don't suddenly loose the right to due process if I don't exercise my right to free speech. Likewise, I don't loose my right to campaign for governmental reform no matter who I voted for or if I voted. If nobody is acceptable on the ballot for one office, you go and vote for the dozen other offices on the ballot that also matter. The November elections are not just about the presidency.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:39 AM on March 4, 2004


Legality aside, I can't imagine a more stupid or self-destructive choice for VP than Clinton. It's not like he accomplished a lot when he was President, is it?
posted by pyramid termite at 2:48 AM on March 4, 2004


Who wants either Clinton to be VP besides right-wing pundits who want someone to attack? I mean, I liked him well enough (besides the lying, which I have no respect for) but come on. Does anyone on the political Left who has thought about this for two seconds really think this is a good idea?

It sounds to me like a lot of reporter-types are getting really excited about the idea simply because it would be an interesting story.
posted by moonbiter at 3:14 AM on March 4, 2004


how about blair for vice-president. he's been doing the job for a while now.....
posted by quarsan at 4:00 AM on March 4, 2004


Peter H, are you old enough to vote?

...sarcasm...

This next election is going to suck. It is lose lose in my opinion.

I think this country needs to cultivate a younger breed of politician, who aren't afraid to tell special interest to fuck off. I think a lot of people are sick of the "business of politics" in DC. That is why Dean was so popular. He is an outsider sharing in peoples disgust and contempt for what passes as politics these days.
I say term limit all of them. That way you keep things fresh and get new blood in the offices to shake things.

The saddest thing about the upcoming election for me, is that I don't want to vote at all. Apathy has set in.
posted by a3matrix at 5:38 AM on March 4, 2004


Presidents are already term-limited. And many states now have limits on their elected reps. It's a great idea that should be extended to Congress (but i can't see them voting themselves out of office--maybe President Kerry could do an executive order?).

I keep hearing Gephardt's name on veep shortlist--ugh!
posted by amberglow at 5:45 AM on March 4, 2004


Carter only got one term--how about him? : >


He's busy building houses and writing poetry. Much nobler professions indeed.
posted by archimago at 6:12 AM on March 4, 2004


What about Hillary?
posted by nandop at 6:17 AM on March 4, 2004


Look, it's simple. If you are a faithful Republican who does not want to see Bush back in the Whitehouse, but could never stand to vote for a Democrat....stay home!
You can send a louder message to the party by not voting than voting for his opponent. Maybe the GOP will get the message and go back to being fiscally responsible and stop trying to increase the size, scope, and power of the Federal government.
posted by CrazyJub at 6:25 AM on March 4, 2004


amberglow, if I'm not mistaken, the term limits imposed by various states on their Federal reps (House members and Senators) were declared unconstitutional. In order to impose term limits on the US Congress, you'd have to amend the Constitution, I think.

States are free, however, to impose limits on representatives in the State legislatures, if that's what you're saying.

And double "ugh" on Gephardt for veep.

I did hear an interesting name floated yesterday (albeit by someone completely unconnected with the Kerry campaign): Donna Shalala.
posted by deadcowdan at 7:11 AM on March 4, 2004


What about Hillary?

I think you have to be from earth to run for president.
posted by jonmc at 7:12 AM on March 4, 2004


Presidents are already term-limited. And many states now have limits on their elected reps. It's a great idea that should be extended to Congress (but i can't see them voting themselves out of office--maybe President Kerry could do an executive order?)........

Unfortunately, the Constitution would have to be amended to accomplish this.
posted by spirit72 at 7:29 AM on March 4, 2004


The notion of the spirit of the constitution when it comes to the validity of a vice-presidential candidate should have been examined a bit more closely when Cheney decided to file taxes outside Texas to get on the ticket.
posted by doozer_ex_machina at 7:30 AM on March 4, 2004


Shalala would rock, but I hear she's on my team. (Kerry wouldn't have the balls to put even a closeted gay person on the ticket--no one would.) ; >

I meant state reps and governors and mayors and city council people...The fact that US senators or reps can serve forever is in the constitution? (oh well, at least I was right when I said they'd have to vote to fire themselves--amending the constitution would require that anyway)
posted by amberglow at 9:09 AM on March 4, 2004


The fact that US senators or reps can serve forever is in the constitution?

The Constitution list the qualifications for each office -- a minimum age, a minimum period of citizenship, and residency in the state you represent.

If you want to add to or subtract from that list, the Court has said you need to do it by amending the Constitution. Likewise, if you want to do something that walks like that duck and quacks like that duck, you have to do it through an amendment.

This does mean that you can run as a felon, as a prisoner, as an inmate of an asylum, and so on. There's been at least one case of someone running for Congress from prison and winning, but that was a long time ago (ie, he was in prison from the Alien and Sedition Acts).
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:21 AM on March 4, 2004


Please stop discussing this. Clinton wouldn't dignify talk of a VP nomination with a response, and continuing this wishful thinking only serves to make the Democratic party look like a bunch of fools.
posted by rocketman at 9:40 AM on March 4, 2004


I lived in a term limited state for a while (Maine) and in my estimation, the effects of term limits were almost universally bad. Legislators were getting kicked out of office just as they were finally figuring out how to do their jobs. As a result, you got the impression that the majority of legislators, however well-intentioned, had no idea what they were doing. In fact, I suspect term limits are championed by conservatives precisely because they reduce the chances of legislatures actually accomplishing anything.

Old but good David Broder piece on the evils of term limits here.

On the other hand, if the obscene political gerrymandering of the past several years continues to reduce the number of districts where there is real competition between the parties, term limits might become the only way to prevent de facto lifetime terms for many congresspeople. But I, for one, would much prefer competitive elections to arbitrary term limits.
posted by boltman at 10:20 AM on March 4, 2004


And double "ugh" on Gephardt for veep.

Make that a triple.

And speculating that Clinton would get in this race is insane. He's a smart cookie, that boy. He realizes that his presence would polarize voters. I doubt that this concept has been floated by anyone but neocons who are hoping to distract people from noticing that they just released ads using corpses of Americans as political fodder.
posted by dejah420 at 10:36 AM on March 4, 2004


how about blair for vice-president. he's been doing the job for a while now.....

I'd vote for Blair for President if he were a native citizen. It might be because he's dangerously talented, but I actually want to believe when I hear him preach it.
posted by weston at 2:10 PM on March 4, 2004


And in Australia, if I'm not mistaken, dg, you're more than entitled to cast a vote as a citizen and duty-bound to do it in the participatory sense of 'participatory democracy', you're required to do it, yeah? That seems to me a good -- if perhaps controversial to some -- way of approaching it.
Yes, registration on the electoral roll and voting in all elections for anyone 18 or older is compulsory here. There is a lot of debate over whether compulsory voting is a good idea or not and the "donkey vote" (numbering all the boxes in order from top to bottom) is a potential problem, although I am not aware of any statistics proving that candidates at the top of the list get elected more often. The candidates are listed on the ballot papers in an order determined by a draw prior to the papers being printed and gaining the top spot is considered to be a good thing by candidates, so perhaps there is some skewing of results from this.

At the end of the day, it is only compulsory to turn up, get your name crossed off and drop a voting slip in the ballot box - the slip can be left blank (an "informal" vote) and there is no way to prove whether anyone actually cast a valid vote. My opinion is that having to turn up at the ballot makes people at least give some thought to the candidates, although it does encourage voting along "party lines", which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your point of view.
posted by dg at 3:18 PM on March 4, 2004


Speculation-filter.
posted by agregoli at 7:36 AM on March 5, 2004


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