What happens if no presidential candidate gets 270 Electoral votes?

November 6, 2012

In an extremely close presidential election it is possible that no candidate could get the needed majority of 270 Electoral votes. The Constitution of the United States makes provision for this scenario.

The Twelfth Amendment (ratified June 15, 1804):

This states in layman’s language that if no one presidential candidate gets the required majority, than the House of Representatives would choose immediately, by ballot, the President. However, it is important to note the vote would be by states, the representation from each state would have one vote. So each Representative does not get one vote, rather each state represented in the House gets one vote.

Again if no one vice-presidential candidate gets a majority of Electoral votes, then the Senate would choose the Vice-President from the two candidates with the most Electoral votes.

This system raises an interesting scenario. If both the presidential and the vice-presidential candidate did not receive a majority of Electoral votes, both would be elected by Congress, the House of Representatives the President, and the Senate, the Vice-President. This election if the Senate stays Democratic and the House stays Republican as expected then the likely scenario in this rare case would be President Romney and Vice-President Biden for the next four years.

What an interesting administration those would be. History consists of what-if scenarios. Some come true and others don’t. Watch closely to see what happens here.

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Friends and Neighbors

February 19, 2009
President Obama & Prime Minister Harper

President Obama & Prime Minister Harper

President Obama’s first foreign trip as president took place today when he came to Ottawa, the Canadian capital. No matter your politics the leader of 300 million Americans met the leader of 34 million Canadians for the first time.

Canada and the United States share a 4,000 mile border. The last time hostilities took place across this border was the War of 1812. We are fast friends, allies, and trading partners.

– Canada is fighting in Afghanistan against the Taliban who sheltered Bin Laden and his terrorists.
– Canada took in the many grounded passengers as result of the 9/11 order to ground airliners.
– Canada’s ambassador to Iran helped get Americans out of the country during the revolution.
– Canada and the United States were allies in two World Wars and the Korean conflict.

These are just some of the examples of our friendship and mutual respect.

As countries we have much in common, but like all friendships there will always be some differences. Our countries are both stable and thriving democracies. Best of all we are true friends. As a Canadian with American links I’m proud of the Can/Am relationship.


“So help me God”

January 20, 2009

This clause that is almost always added at the end of the presidential oath taking seems to get some upset.

This is an optional phrase. It is not part of the constitutionally mandated oath of office. It is in effect a sort of prayer by the president taking the oath, a personal thing.

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States reads as follows:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Since the inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, all presidents have added the phrase “so help me God” after taking the oath.

The first president to use”affirm” rather than swear in the oath was Franklin Pierce in 1853. Herbert Hoover is the only other to use “affirm” in 1929. Neither gave a particular reason that I could find in my research. It is almost certain Barack Obama will use “so help me God” after his oath.


High Hopes

January 19, 2009

The inauguration of Barack Obama tomorrow brings back my memories of another young man with high hopes. These high hopes were held by the president-elect and also people in general.

Inaugural Invitation, 1961

Inaugural Invitation, 1961

It was January 20, 1961. John F. Kennedy was being sworn in as the 35th President of the United States. He was the youngest person to be elected and the first Roman Catholic to hold the office.

Change was felt by all. Ideals were held high. Realistically those hopes were likely too high, but we didn’t care. The prospect of new ideas and new talent blew like a fresh breeze through our minds. Being only 11 at the time I suppose I was truly naive and overly optimistic. Now tempered by the last 48 years, I am realistic and struggling to be hopeful.

I wish nothing but the best to President Barack Obama in his presidency, but we need to temper our hopes with some realism. The world is a much more complex place in 2009, then it was in 1961.


Aftermath: Democracy at Its Best

November 10, 2008
Transition

Transition (AP/White House photo)

Americans – Republicans, Democrats or Independents should be proud. Government is transitioning in an organized and peaceful way.
Many governments only change through coups, bloody or bloodless. The people don’t take part in those changes.
I commend President Bush for his and his staff’s cooperation in this process. Sure there are many differences, but in the end all involved are Americans first and foremost.

“A Dream” Come True

August 28, 2008

Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his "Dream" speech. AFP-Getty Images

Forty-five years ago this very day, on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Barack Obama was only two years old at the time. Little did anyone know that part of the “dream” would come true in such a relatively short time.

Tonight on the anniversary of King’s speech, Senator Barack Obama will stand in front of 80,000 people and millions of others watching on television and accept the nomination of the Democratic Party for President of the United States. A truly historic moment.

Whether you are support Obama or are a Republican, Democratic, or Independent, you should be proud of your country for the great strides that have been made.

In 1963 Mr. Obama would have been riding in the back of the bus, attending segregated schools, using “colored” only restrooms and drinking fountains, and being denied his most essential civil rights simply because he of the color of his skin.

Today he has a very real chance to attain the highest elected office in his country – President of the United States. Even if he fails his accomplishment has to be recognized as truly ground-breaking. Congratulations to the American electorate for having the courage and intelligence to see the man, not the color.


Vice Presidential Candidate Predictions

August 20, 2008

Before Barack Obama and John McCain announce their choices of running mates I thought I would post my predictions.

Republican Ticket
John McCain and Tom Ridge

Democratic Ticket
Barack Obama and Joe Biden

If this comes about I actually believe they would be excellent choices. We’ll soon see as the conventions for both parties near. Traditionally the VP choices are announced a week or two before the conventions open.


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