Role of the US President

Who Wants This Job?

Government 2305:

Professor: John Sutter

Student: Cathy Lynch

Date: March 18, 2015

Who Wants This Job?

Would you want to be President of the United States of America, Why? We hear and read political news from the television, radio, internet, special interest blogs, news papers and magazines, for those who still read hard copy printed material, and of course Barbra-shop gossip. After listening to what sounded like tongue and cheek, total organized chaos, back-biting, mudslinging, political undermining pitting party against party – issues against issues, dealing with millions of other people’s lives in totality for generations to come …etc, the proverbial question seem fitting to ponder, Who wants this job and why? This essay sets out to investigate by reviewing articles, books, video commentaries and documentaries of individuals who may consider being president of the United States of America.

First let’s look into the prerequisites in order to become president of the United States. According to our Constitution, Article II, Section 1, which place minimal requirements seem like the best place to start.

The U.S.Constitution“Article II Section 1 Clause 5 expresses “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of thisConstitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States. (Roland 2008)

A little fun fact, on who was the youngest and eldest president to service USA:

Theodore Roosevelt (42 years, 10 months, 18 days)
Ronald Reagan (69 years, 11 months, 14 days) (Rosenberg n.d.)
Only native-born U.S. citizens (or those born abroad, but only to parents at least one of whom was a U.S. citizen at the time) may serve president of the United States. Of course, like many things there are from time to time requirements are called into question, such as most recent current event the potential 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R – Texas).” (Trethan n.d.) One of his parents is from another country Cuba, the other is a native-born U. S. Citizen, and yet they resided in Canada where Ted Cruz was born making him to posses multiple citizenships [Canadian, American and Cuban].Would this be a hindrance or an asset to American if he were to be elected as President? Actually the reality is our Constitution indicates native born. However, Ted Cruz, isn’t the first, nor the last to have their citizenship questioned. For an example Obama, Kenya or Hawaii?
Term limit amendment according to US Constitution, Amendment XXII, Section 1 – ratified February 27, 1951 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. (Hickok n.d.)

But there are much more for a potential president nominee to be considered. We Americans are very demanding. We want what we want, and we want it NOW; if we don’t get it, we won’t stand behind the leader of the band, [the President].

A good example is when Ben laud in was captured; all praise was given, but then a few months down the road, we turned our backs on the President because we didn’t like what he did on another issue.

After all, the President is a mouth piece for our country, the leader of the executive branch of the federal government of our grand country, the head of state, head of government, the commander-in-chief of our military armed forces. He makes laws, has the power to veto them, a leader of a vast economy and nuclear arsenal responsibilities to know when to hold and when to fold, as they sing in the country and western song the Gambler. He sometimes has to gamble with people’s lives too. Would you consider the position of presidency as the most powerful held position a person could hold in the world? This job requires one in power to execute of federal law, appoint other political executive, and judicial officers. The president comprises therein treaties with foreign powers with the help of the Senate, which may or may not be of his own party.

He’s also the person that takes the heat when separate powers don’t want to play ball due to special interest group contributions, and other enticements. He must be well connected in order for fundraising for campaigning, to get elected, re-elected and other expenditures. He must possess the power of persuasion, have thick skin. Hey the political arena can be brutal and strip one to the bone and hang them out to dry without a blink of an eye.

Who would and why would someone put them self and family through such torture? For the good of the nation or is there more too it? What does the President get in return for four year term of service? From the very beginning of our great nation’s first constitution to now most leaders are already wealthy and set well in life and business. So becoming a federal leader for the pay isn’t much of a motivator being the president currently collects the amount of $200.000 – $500.000 annually for services rendered, depending on the president, of course. Thanks to Clinton who signed legislature to provide the presidency their first pay-raise since 1969 from $100.000 to $200.000. (Howstuffworks 2000). That seems like a lot to us average income earners doesn’t it? But if you think about their expenses, and all they are required to do, even with an expense account of $50,000.00, that amount doesn’t go very far.

Actually they make more than that in their private lives of business. So what’s the motivation to become President? There’s free housing in the grandest best well kept house in the nation, the white house; unlimited access to Camp David, Travel and meet with very important, influential people and other nation leaders. But also keep in mind, they are putting their lives on the line every time, in spite of body guards around the clock and everywhere they go. They live under a microscope too; also one can never please everyone. There is always something brewing, scheming and always a problem to fix and improvements to be made if they can get the opposing party to comprise. They have the weight of the World, Our Nation, Congress, Constituents, not to mention their own personal family upon their shoulders.

When the president decides to retire they receive some lifetime and some time restricted benefits. However, they do have an option to relinquish these benefits and services. Post presidency, what is it like? Life after being a president has its reward system well in place.

The United States have had eight presidents meet their demise while in office.
Four of those were assassinated, (Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley and John Kennedy).
One president resigned (Richard Nixon), and two presidents were impeached, (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton), though not convicted. (2000Josh Clark).

As a rule most presidents serve one to two – four year terms; then either get re-elected, defeated or retire. Living in such intensity under a microscope some retire out of the public lime light. Other’s profit from their published and distributed memoirs, some get involved in speech circuit, and some utilize their distinction toward business improvement, as Jimmy Carter is known for being the most successful post president.

However, not all post presidents get out from public eye, instead they may continue to move forward by being nominated into the House of Representatives or Supreme Courts. As in the early times, the departing presidents would merely pat upon the back, given an Atta boy; when the Former President Act (federal law) was expedited by Congress back in 1958 this act was to provide an annual pension of $25,000.

Of recent, according to an article posted on the About News website post president’s pay and compensation consist of the receipt of several lifetime benefits which entitle them to:

Annual pension – An annual pension of $400,000 which is equal to the executive head level I. In addition to their spouse who also receives an annual pension of $20,000., providing they do not accept additional benefits. This benefit start immediately upon the vacating their presidential position.
Staff and office expenses – Transitional fund, are labeled for expenditures of vacating the office available up to seven months (It covers office space, staff compensation, communications services, and printing and postage associated with the transition). However in addition to the transitional fund, there is also revenue provided for the departing president’s private staff and office thanks to the Administrator of General Services Administration.
Medical care or health insurance – Post presidential is entitled to medical treatment in Veteran’s hospitals thanks to Management and Budget Office charges are discounted by interagency rates.
Two-term presidents — have an option to purchase medical insurance provided by the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program
Secret Service protection—Post presidential and their family members use to be entitled to a lifetime of secret service protection. Then when Clinton was post president the SSP were only for ten years. However, current president Obama signed legislation reinstating lifetime protectionin 2013 for him and other post presidential. (Longley 2014)

We have covered a lot about why anyone would want to be president, but we hadn’t mentioned anything about their political aspects, admirations and goals to further our country into all its glory, an improved nation. Nor have we mentioned anything about We the people being considered or being the main focus. Though, we are certain being these men and women of today’s political world have many fires to start and to put out being the great successful leaders that they are have us in mind, have our country in mind. After all, it’s their country too and they live in it too.

They are not above the law even though they may receive extra perks here and there… It merely proves these intelligent leaders, know what they want earlier on in their life, because politics is a lifelong commitment; as simple as step 1, 2 3; to get your foot in the door, to follow, to rule, to lead, and to succeed as an individual as well as a country. Would you want this job? Why or Why not is something amazing to ponder? It’s not the kind of job a lazy person, that is uneducated, lack morals, and integrity to embark upon. It is a position of distinction, reverence and money, keen communication skills, the ability to persuade and work well with others, know the law, and how to select their supporters to help manage the Oval Office and foreign affairs, an innovative thinking and producer of excellence. This is why everyone should vote in all elections local, state as well as governmental levels. Obama stated this morning on telecast news on channel 8, if Everyone would vote the results would outnumber the money. It is crucial to arm one’s knowledge banks regarding worldwide politics, voice ones opinion by voting. It is our right, and a privilege we may not have in the future, if not exercised now and every time there is an election.

References

Hickok, Eugene. Amendment XXII . http://constitutioncenter.org/constitution/the-amendments/amendment-22-presidential-term-limits (accessed March 13, 2015).

Howstuffworks. August 21, 2000. HowStuffWorks.com. (accessed March 17, 2015).

Longley, Robert. Presidential pay and Compensation. April 22, 2014. http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepresidentandcabinet/a/presidentialpay.htm?utm_term=Benefits of Being President&utm_content=p1-main-4-title&utm_medium=sem-rel&utm_source=msn&utm_campaign=adid-928de88a-d94c-40b9-b35c-49ea4f7fca65-0-ab_msb_ocode-28810 (accessed March 15, 2015).

Roland, Jon. Presidential Eligibility. April 13, 2008. http://www.constitution.org/abus/pres_elig.htm (accessed March 17, 2015).

Rosenberg, Jemmofer. About Education – 20th Century History Expert. http://history1900s.about.com/od/worldleaders/a/youngpresidents.htm (accessed March 17, 2015).

Trethan, Phaedra. Requirements to Service as President of the United States Now accepting Applications. Edited by Phaedra Trethan. Camden Courier-Post. http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepresidentandcabinet/a/presrequire.htm (accessed March 14, 2015).