When the American anti-epidemic celebrity Anthony Fauci was vaccinated with the new crown vaccine, he stretched out his white arms and looked like a person in his 50s. In fact, he was 80 years old. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Pelosi, dressed in fashion and walking lightly, was half a year older than Fauci. Republican leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate of Congress just received another six-year term as a senator at the age of 78; his wife, Zhao Xiaolan, has just resigned as Secretary of Transportation and is also 67 years old. Biden is slightly younger than McConnell, and of course he will have to work as president for four years.
How can American voters rest assured that the important task of the cardinal is entrusted to these elderly people? This is probably because the 230 years of constitutional tradition and various patched amendments have enabled politicians represented by the running president to be replaced in accordance with established rules once they are absent, without causing chaos in the power system. Elderly presidents with health problems, whether they need to temporarily transfer power for temporary surgery, or transfer powers in accordance with the legal succession order after sudden misfortune, or even unexpected events in the government transition period caused by the rotation of political parties. The pre-plan to deal with most situations can be followed.
However, there is no perfect plan, especially for extremely rare situations. The established rules cannot exhaust all possibilities, and many controversies have occurred in the history of the United States.
If the president is unpredictable, who will succeed?
If the President of the United States has misfortunes during his tenure, resulting in objectively or subjectively unable to perform his duties, the vice president will replace him; if the vice president dies unfortunately, the president will appoint a successor.
And if the vice president and the president have a major accident (death, resignation, dismissal or incapacity) at the same time, there will also be candidates for succession—such as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Justice and so on. They will succeed in order in accordance with the applicable circumstances stipulated by a series of laws (such as the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, the 25th Amendment to the Constitution of 1967, and the 2003 Presidential Succession Act Amendment).
Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States. He was paralyzed by a stroke in October 1919, but he remained in office until the expiry of early 1921
William Harrison, the 9th President of the United States. He died of illness only 31 days after taking office
As the third person in American politics, the Speaker of the House of Representatives is the second-ranked successor to the presidency after the Vice President and the Speaker of the Senate; It is not held by a powerful majority leader; the succession order of the ministers is usually related to the order in which the ministry was established, but the Department of Homeland Security is an obvious exception (the minister ranks eighth in the succession order of the president) Position, that is, after the Minister of Justice and before the Minister of the Interior).
U.S. law defines a vague definition of “incapability” for a president.
The higher frequency of the inability of the US president to perform his duties is “death”-7 presidents (William Harrison, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Kennedy) died unexpectedly during the term , The vice president was able to directly succeed the president.
In other situations that cannot be considered, Nixon is the only one who “resigned”; “removal” means that he was successfully removed by congressional impeachment, but there was no one at the time of writing this article.
There are presidents who have been incapacitated for a long time, such as Woodrow Wilson. He was paralyzed by a stroke in October 1919, but he remained in office until the expiry of early 1921. The reason is that the definition of “incapacity” of the president in American law is vague. Even in the later Amendment to Article 25, the fourth paragraph only authorizes the vice president and members of the cabinet or “members of other institutions established by law by Congress”. Majority” to make specific judgments. In political practice, no one has actually invoked the fourth paragraph of the 25th Amendment to remove the president. After the riots on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, Democrats urged Vice President Pence to initiate the amendment to remove Trump, but Pence rejected it.
As for the transient transfer of power due to surgery, it has only occurred three times in the past half a century (reagan once and Bush Jr. twice), and none of them is of significance. But this originally rare situation cannot be underestimated in the new environment where Biden was elected president at the age of 78.
The then Vice President James Sherman (left). He died on the eve of the 1912 election
Once Biden takes office, he will become the oldest president in American history. On November 28, 2020, after the general election, Biden fell and was injured while playing with his pet dog; further CT scans showed that there was a slight bone fracture in the middle of his foot. Subsequently, the picture of Biden wearing corrective shoes became popular on the Internet.
This is still “a blessing in misfortune.” Biden’s two mentors, Ted Kennedy and John McCain, and his most respected son Bo Biden, died of the most malignant glioblastoma in brain cancer, and Biden himself also Escape from the threat of cerebral aneurysm. Reminiscent of the “anti-cancer legend” Justice Ginsberg died of complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer at the age of 87, Biden has not been free from the risk of accidental death.
The votes obtained by the deceased candidate will be “handed over” to the party’s replacement candidate.
He was also prepared for this and chose Kamala Harris, who was born in 1964, as his deputy, and publicly stated that she could take over in the event of an accident.
How to change presidential candidates
The new question is, if the presidential candidate (in this article specifically refers to the “have or will receive” party nomination) happens unexpectedly, especially in the case of irreversible death, will it be replaced by his deputy, the vice presidential candidate?
This is the scoring time period to comment. First, if recognized presidential candidates die before or during the party’s national convention (usually held in the summer of the election year), the task of selecting new presidential candidates falls on these party representatives. Some people believe that the confirmed candidate for vice president will be regarded as the leader. However, other candidates can try to present their reasons to the delegates. Everything depends on voting at the party congress.