The President of the United States (POTUS) is Commander-in-Chief of the US Army and the most powerful political figure in the world. He is the person who directly or indirectly influences the policy and public opinion not just in America but all over the world. No wonder they say when the POTUS sneezes the world catches a cold.
From George Washington to Donald J. Trump USA has had 45 ‘Head of the State’ and ‘Head of the Government’ of the U.S. since the Independence of the United States. Likewise from John Adams to the current vice president Michael Pence, United States has hosted some 48 vice presidents.
Hence it seems strange but true that since April 30, 1789, when George Washington took oath as the first president of the United States till date the U.S. has never had a woman President or even Vice-President. All the 93 odd leaders have been men. It belies reason why the office of the President and Vice-President has remained a men’s only turf in one of the most robust and vibrant democracies for more than 200 years.
This story is bound to take a happy ending when President-elect Joe Biden takes over as the 46th President of the United States of America and his running mate Kamala Harris is sworn in as the 48th and first woman vice president as per the verdict of the 59th Presidential Election.
As per the U.S. Constitution of the President is the constitutional head of the Federal Government and elected indirectly by the people for a 4-year term through the Electoral College but the vice president is no less important. The vice president ranks first in the line of succession and slated to take over if the president dies, resigns, is impeached or removed from office. This is how eight vice presidents — John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry S. Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson assumed the presidency following the death of Presidents Harrison, Taylor, Harding, and Roosevelt (natural causes) and Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy (assassination). Vice president Gerald Ford took charge following President Nixon’s resignation. Richard Nixon was the only President who resigned to avoid impeachment.
As per the 22nd Amendment the United States Constitution, no person can be elected more than twice as the President of the U.S.
As per US history, William Henry Harrison had the shortest tenure – just 31 days while Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only U.S. President to serve for more than two terms and served for over 12 years till his death during his fourth term.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama are among the six presidents who have been elected twice in two successive terms.
Grover Cleveland and George Bush are the only Presidents in the history of America who served for two non-consecutive terms in the office.
At least 14 Vice presidents including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush went on to become President.
John Adams was the first vice president to become a fully functioning president. Now Democrat Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. the 15th VP is due to become the 46th president on January 20, 2021.