Second Consul, the Vice Presidency: Our Greatest Political Problem

Second Consul, the Vice Presidency: Our Greatest Political Problem

Second Consul, the Vice Presidency: Our Greatest Political Problem

Second Consul, the Vice Presidency: Our Greatest Political Problem

Excerpt

September 24, 1955, will long linger in the minds of Americans of this generation as one of the darkest days of our era. Early that morning something serious happened to the thirty- fourth President of the United States. President Dwight David Eisenhower, vacationing in Colorado, had suffered an attack of coronary thrombosis. Shortly thereafter the nation learned that he had been taken to Fitzsimmons Army Hospital and was in an oxygen tent. The shocking news, the anxious months of convalescence and the deep concern of all loyal Americans of whatever political inclination over the progress of the President's recovery all served to put the national spotlight on the most serious structural weakness of our government.

Mr. Eisenhower's illness put in sharp relief the fact that the Constitution makes no clear-cut provision for effecting a succession to the President's office should he be unable to perform its duties. The article creating and defining the executive branch provides that "In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President. . . ." How do we execute this provision in case the President is incapacitated? The Constitution provides no answer.

It very often happens in our time that a national political convention wears itself out completely on knotty problems of . . .

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