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Obama for President?

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Obama for President?

Obama for President?
July 02
15:44 2018

Sometimes it is just fun to play hypothetical mental games. In this case, let’s consider the possibility of President Barack Obama returning to the White House.

By way of background … the Democratic Party is in a bit of disarray. The rise of the radical left to positions of prominence in the Party has created a schism between the rabid upstarts and the old guard liberals. In terms of the nominating process, those on the far left seem to have the advantage.

Among the currently most favored candidates by the Democrat ideologues are Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders. These are not candidates with wide appeal across middle America. The last time Democrats put up an out-of-mainstream left-winger they suffered one of the most serious lopsided defeats in American history. That was in 1972, when President Nixon won 49 of the 50 states, more than 60 percent of the popular vote and 520 or the 537 electoral votes – and that was at the height of the Watergate scandal.

Furthermore, every election since 2010 has been a repudiation of liberal Democrat candidates at every level. The sentiment was so strong that by 2016, the Democrats’ golden girl candidate fell short of beating a highly flawed Donald Trump. That anti-liberal sentiment among the public is not likely to have changed a lot. That is why Democrats are mostly fighting Trump on personality, not policies.

For the moderately liberal Democrats – the liberal pragmatists – there are few political figures who are seriously in the running. The only one that stands out is former Vice President Joe Biden – and he would be 78 on Inauguration Day.

There is only one person who might be able to bridge the Democrat’s philosophic chasm, and that is Barack Obama. It is common knowledge, however, that he is barred by the Twenty-Second Amendment, which states:

“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.”

Well, that settles it. Or does it? There just may be a loophole. It is the Twelfth Amendment. It declares that:

“… no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States”

That amendment, however, only address ineligibility based on age, citizenship and residency according to a number of constitutional authorities – not the ineligibility later imposed by the Twenty-Second Amendment. So, it is arguable, and apparently untested in the courts, that a former two-term president can be elected to the vice presidency AND assume the presidency in the event of the resignation, demise or removal of a president.

This is a version of the Vladimir Putin option. You may recall that when Putin was term-limited out of the Russian presidency, he had his puppet, Dmitry Medvedev, take on the office for one term, while Putin served as puppet master prime minister. Since the Russian constitution limited only consecutive terms, Putin came back in a subsequent election.

So (now for the mental gamesmanship), what if the Democrats put up a Biden/Obama ticket with a side deal that Biden gets the honor of being President of the United States for a few months and then resigns. Obama moves into the Oval Office and uses the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to name either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton as Vice President. (Hmmm. Now I am getting downright silly.)

Yes, I know, such a scheme is extremely unlikely and even if attempted it would trigger a huge constitutional debate and court cases. The legal case would likely wind up in the Supreme Court, where there would be at least five conservative votes determining that the limitations set forth in the Twelfth Amendment applied to the Twenty-Second Amendment and the issue would be settled. But as of now, there is at least a sliver of an argument that the aforementioned strategy is technically feasible.

As improbable as this may be, I somehow imagine that at this very moment a small group of radical leftists is assembled in the basement of a New York brownstone pondering just how this scheme might be implemented. While it’s virtually impossible for Obama to reclaim the presidency, he may be the only person in the Party’s leadership who could actually win.

Anyway, enough of the hypothetical games. Future commentaries will be back dealing with reality.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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3 Comments

  1. Oscar
    Oscar July 03, 23:10

    NO NO NO NO!!!
    I personally liked Obama, but he and his wife AND children have gone through enough with him being President! The REAL truth is too many Americans (that’s right Americans!) were opposed to him simply because he was an African American! So NO! The Obamas have earned life away from that mess! And even though I have absolutely nothing against President Trump, just look at how he is still–for whatever reason–attempting to attack Obama for one little thing or another! What’s wrong with THAT picture!??

    Reply to this comment
  2. Rochesternative
    Rochesternative July 05, 17:12

    My bigger concern is MICHELLE Obama. I think she is going to pop up at the National level at some point. And Chelsea clinton too.

    Reply to this comment
    • Red
      Red July 09, 02:58

      And if they do America will.show them,they are as tired of the Clinton and obumme.name as they are about cancer. They will never be elected to even dog catcher position.

      Reply to this comment

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