Two Heartbeats Away from the Presidency

Many people have said that this year’s presidential election is a referendum on President Bush, and this is a problem for John McCain—because with McCain we would just get a four-year extension of the tired-out Bush policies.

Others have suggested that the election is a referendum on senator Obama because of his inexperience.

Could it be that this year’s presidential election is a referendum on . . . Nancy Pelosi?

John McCain has tapped governor Sarah Palin as his VP running-mate. Many are asking, “But is she ready?” Ready for what? Ready to be the President of the United States if—God-forbid—something should happen to John McCain. After all, the Vice President is only one heartbeat away from the presidency.

So what’s that got to do with Nancy Pelosi?

Nancy Pelosi is a congressional representative from the state of California, and one of the most liberal members of Congress. She also happens to be the Speaker of the House of Rrepresentatives. The United States Constitution provides for the Speaker of the House to assume the reigns of power if—God forbid—something should happen to both the President and the Vice President. We actually saw Gerald Ford become President in the 1970s through this mechanism—and neither the President nor the Vice President had died!

So Nancy Pelosi is only two heartbeats away from the Presidency . . . right now. That won’t change when we elect a new President and Vice President in November. Maybe we should be looking at her record and experience.

About Doug Geivett
University Professor; PhD in philosophy; author; conference speaker. Hobbies include motorcycling, travel, kayaking, sailing.

2 Responses to Two Heartbeats Away from the Presidency

  1. Doug Geivett says:


    Correct, Pelosi is not up for re-election this year, and even if she was, only California voters in the 8th District can do anything about her. She will come up for re-election. So the time will come when voters will have the opportunity to weigh my point. I’m saying that the high profile issue of Sarah Palin’s readiness brings this to mind as a general point. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the . . . .

    McCain is 72. If he wins the presidential election, he’ll be the oldest candidate to do so. But I don’t know if that makes him an especially great risk, if he’s healthy—as he appears to be. I remember the days when he was being treated for cancer. That’s been some time ago, though he may be getting treatments for benign skin lesions, as many younger people than he are.

    My view is that voters who like McCain should go ahead and vote for him without concern about his age or cancer history, and regardless of who his running-mate is—unless some dire news about McCain’s health comes out before November 4.


  2. lucidlunatic says:

    The problem is that we aren’t choosing her in this election. If we were, your point would be more valid.

    Furthermore, neither Palin nor Biden is at a significant risk of death. Actually, check that. Biden may, but I’m not sure how old he is, and if he has a history of disease I’m not aware of it. On the other hand, we already know there was an assassination attempt planned on Obama, and McCain is old and at risk for cancer, thus greatly increasing our worries.


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