Kerry’s VP

Ken AshfordElection 2004Leave a Comment

So now the guessing game begins. Edwards? Dean? Gore? McCain? (Kucinich???)

The most interesting potential nominee I’ve heard discussed is Clinton. No, not Hillary. I’m talking ’bout Bill.

A couple of potential stumbling blocks: the 12th and 22nd Amendments, which read (respectively, in relevant part):

But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of the Vice-President of the United States [12th Amendment]


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 as President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. [22nd Amendment]

The operative words are "(in)eligible" (in the 12th) and "elected" (in the 22nd). My former NYU Law Professor Stephen Gillers — correctly in my view — says that nothing in the 22nd prevents Bill from becoming Kerry’s VP and even succeeding Kerry as President (should Kerry die from an overinflated ego or whatever). He even says (at the Volokh Conspiracy) that the 12th is not a stumbling block (I’m less sure he’s right on that one).

Anyway, I seriously doubt that Bill Clinton is even on the short list, but for law geeks like me, it’s an interesting issue to think about.