Monday, September 12, 2016

Questioning the Health of Presidential Nominees

Voters elect presidents on their intended agenda and policies, and the guarantee that they can execute the duties of the office to their fullest. Yet, there always is the understanding that circumstances may arise during their tenure that hinders that pledge. As such, voters also go to the polls to select vice-presidents for assuming the presidency should the president die, resign or be removed while in office. This is the exact reason that the health of the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, was questioned throughout the election. Voters were concerned McCain - given his age and documented health issues - could die in office, thus ascending the very polarizing vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, to the presidency. Voters, including a significant number of conservatives, said no thank you to that scenario.

In 1841, William Henry Harrison died 32 days into his presidency (March 4 - April 4) due to complications from pneumonia - the same condition from which the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, allegedly is suffering according to reports from her campaign. This set the stage for the first constitutional crisis concerning the presidential line of succession (since codified by the 25th Amendment, in 1967), in which vice-president John Tyler eventually was sworn in as president. Same as the fears raised during the 2008 election, unfounded or not, this country should not have to contemplate a repeat of that potential situation at this critical time.

Vice-Presidents elected to presidency in their own right:

  • John Adams 
  • Thomas Jefferson 
  • Martin Van Buren 
  • Richard Nixon 
  • George H.W. Bush

Vice-Presidents assuming presidency after president died in, resigned or was removed from office, and re-elected:

  • Theodore Roosevelt (assassination) 
  • Calvin Coolidge (natural cause) 
  • Harry Truman (natural cause) 
  • Lyndon Johnson (assassination)

Vice-Presidents assuming presidency after president
died in, resigned or was removed from office, but not re-elected:
  • John Tyler (natural cause) 
  • Millard Fillmore (natural cause) 
  • Andrew Johnson (assassination) 
  • Chester Arthur (assassination) 
  • Gerald Ford (resignation)

Worst case scenario: would the current leading vice-presidential nominees - Tim Kaine (D), Bill Weld (L) and Mike Pence (R) - join the ranks of the second group? Or be another overlooked note of presidential history consigned to the third group? All things considered, voters must choose wisely when electing a president...because the nation’s own health depends on it.

©2016 Steve Sagarra

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