spare presidents



Supplementary learning now thanks to Lee from Cambridge (the one in the US):

I just finished listening to your latest episode 274, in which you discuss the strangeness of the US chain of command.

First, a definition: the President Pro Tempore of the Senate is the leader of the party in power in the Senate (currently Patrick Leahy). He runs the Senate when the President of the Senate isn’t around to do so. Who is the President of the Senate? Why, it’s the Vice President of the US, since there has to be something for Biden to do other than waiting for Obama to die.

Secondly, it’s totally charming that you think we have something approaching a functional parliamentary system! Bless! You cannot call a special presidential election in the US, it states in the Constitution that the presidential elections occur every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Presidents are also now constitutionally barred from serving for more than two terms, so George W. Bush couldn’t have hung on for a while; it would (most likely) have gone down the normal chain of succession into the new House and Senate.

Thanks Lee. Previously we got all our information about the order of spare presidents from the Kevin Kline film Dave. In fact we get all our information about everything from Kevin Kline films*. Between In and Out, Sophie’s Choice, The Ice Storm and A Fish Called Wanda, most matters of import are taken care of.

*A few dozen of which are available on LoveFilm, for which you can have a free month-long trial via We get free money if you do so; you get to glut yourself on Kevin Kline masterpieces. And Kevin Kline gets…to be Kevin Kline. So everyone’s happy.

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