As we approach the campaign season for the Presidential election in 2016, there seems to be a lot of conversation as to who is qualified and who is not. There a many that say President Obama is not qualified; he was a constitutional law professor at Harvard, Ivy league graduate, US Senator, yet many say he has no proven track record of accomplishments that deem him qualified to be President. So, I got to thinking what are the qualifications for President? Hillary Clinton is criticized for not having any qualifications or accomplishments. Again, this is a person that was a Senator, First Lady, Lawyer, Secretary of State... so what is she lacking?
There are no college degrees available in Presidency. There is no promotional path to the Presidency as there is the corporate world to CEO/President status. No chain of command to progress through as there is in the military. So just what are the qualifications; governor, senator, military service, what is it???
A quick look at past Presidents and there "experience":
Nixon - career politician, governor of California
Carter - US Navy officer, peanut farmer, state senator, governor
Reagan - actor, spokesperson, governor
Bush (the elder) - pilot in WWII, congressman, senator, CIA director, ambassador, Vice President
Clinton - lawyer, governor
Bush (the younger) - Ivy league graduate, business man, governor
Obama - Ivy league graduate, law professor, state senator, US Senator
So, there are several ex-governors, a couple of Ivy league grads, some military, state and US senate in the work history of the current and ex presidents listed. So based on this very brief work and education background listed above, what exactly is the electorate looking for in the terms of experience and qualifications for President.
I am not looking for a comparison of administrations or policies in this conversation, I just want to know what qualifications one needs to be President. I ask because the current "rules" or qualifications for President are set forth in the Constitution:
- be a natural-born citizen of the United States;[note 1]
- be at least thirty-five years old;
- have been a permanent resident in the United States for at least fourteen years.
A person who meets the above qualifications is still disqualified from holding the office of president under any of the following conditions:
- Under the Twenty-second Amendment, no person can be elected president more than twice. The amendment also specifies that if any eligible person who serves as president or acting president for more than two years of a term for which some other eligible person was elected president, the former can only be elected president once. Scholars disagree whether anyone no longer eligible to be elected president could be elected vice president, pursuant to the qualifications set out under the Twelfth Amendment.
- Under Article I, Section 3, Clause 7, upon conviction in impeachment cases, the Senate has the option of disqualifying convicted individuals from holding other federal offices, including the presidency.
- Under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, no person who swore an oath to support the Constitution, and later rebelled against the United States, can become president. However, this disqualification can be lifted by a two-thirds vote of each house of Congress.
Please note there are no educational, military or business experience requirements listed. So what do you think?