When it comes to President Barack Obama, negative questions are essentially inexhaustible. The President of the United States is a US citizen and despite what you’ve heard, there’s a lot of things a President is not legally allowed to do:
- There are no known circumstances where the POTUS can cut out the heart of an infant and eat it in the Oval Office.
- The President cannot legally rape . . . ANYBODY.
- The POTUS cannot assassinate members of Congress. In fact, let’s throw these cards right out on the table, there are few circumstances where the President can order the assassination of any US citizen. Now, the President can order Americans to be killed — and many Presidents have. They MUST have that power (“clear and present danger”) because all government executives have that power (“So-and-so has a bomb and is going to kill a bunch of kids on the schoolyard”).
- The President cannot spend any cash that has not been appropriated by Congress. He can’t even keep the White House open if the funds aren’t provided.
- The President cannot make permanent appointments to any congressionally created leadership position without Senate approval.
- The President cannot even FIRE employees in the Executive Branch for fucking up if they are not presidential appointees and are protected by law and their union. Seriously — remember that IRS scandal in Cincinnati? Some of those people couldn’t be fired because they were protected civil servants.
- The President cannot stay even 1/10 of one second beyond his official term. This rule is so legalistically debated, that according to the interpretation of the law — and especially as far as the Defense Department is concerned — on exactly 12:00 PM on January 20th, the term of the former president ends and the new one begins. This is absolute and unaffected by any other “thing” be it the taking of the oath, ill-health or EVEN the death of EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of the line of succession of the incoming president.Yeah. You read that right. So, on January 20th 2017, if outgoing President Barack Hussein Obama is sitting at the podium and (hypothetically) Presidential Elect, Hillary Clinton & Vice Presidential Elect, Deval Patrick both, well are somehow killed on the way to the ceremony, what happens? Obama STILL ceases to be President at 12:00PM and the “line of succession” follows forthwith.
See, President Obama might be out and Vice President Biden may well be out of the line of succession, but his cabinet members and the current Speaker of the House and President Pro Temp of the Senate are not. The Secretaries of the Departments continue on in their job until they quit, die or are fired. As a matter of courtesy, most stay on until their replacement is named (though not always).
Additionally, assuming that the GOP retains control of the House, then it would most likely be President John Boehner. See, Congress gets sworn in on the 3rd of January — long enough in advance to elect the leaders of each chamber who ARE legally in the line of succession for the President. Boehner would have to pick a Veep pretty quickly, but he’d become President (assuming he was re-elected to his Speakership role).