Everyone knows that a person can only serve as president two times in their life.
This wasn’t always the case.
Before FDR, there was no official limit on how many times a president could be elected to office.
It was George Washington, America’s first president, who set the unofficial limit at two terms or eight years of service.
All the presidents who came after him either served for two terms or failed in securing a second term and chose not to run again.
Only Franklin Delano Roosevelt ended up serving three full terms as the president.
He was elected to a fourth term, but sadly, he passed away soon after his fourth inauguration.
His case was unique in that he served during a period of great strife.
FDR led the country through both The Great Depression and World War II.
His opponents wanted to ensure this never happened again.
They set an official term limit on the presidency.
However, you may wonder whether a president who has resigned from office is still eligible to run again even if they’re in his first or second term as president.
Here’s what you need to know about whether a president can run again even if they resigned from office.
If A President Resigns, Can They Run Again?
Yes, the president can run again for office if they resign from office as long as they haven’t run for a second term.
If the president chooses to resign from office during their second term, they cannot run again.
That’s because even though they didn’t serve a total of eight years, they were still elected for two terms.
If the president resigns during their first term, then they can still run again for a second term.
That said, it’s unlikely that a president who resigned from office is going to regain the confidence of the American public.
As such, it would be difficult for them to actually receive the votes for an election.
The president in question would have to be very popular or have a sympathetic reason behind their resignation.
Due to the term limits set on the presidential office, presidents cannot run again even if they resign during their second term in office.
However, if they resigned during their first term in office, then they can run again for a second term.
What Happens If A President Resigns From Office?
Only one president in history has resigned from office.
That was President Richard Nixon following the Watergate Scandal.
Nixon was in danger of impeachment by Congress.
Instead of going through the process, he decided to resign from office.
His decision set the precedent for how the process would occur in the future.
His vice president, Gerald R. Ford, became president in his stead.
Ford then chose another to be his vice president.
Accession of the vice president to the presidency hasn’t always been an established role, however.
While it seemed to be a general rule, there was never a written law until the 22nd Amendment was formally ratified in 1951.
Even that law wasn’t entirely clear or specific about certain details about when a vice president can or can’t succeed a president.
The 25th Amendment would later clarify succession rules.
If a president were to resign in the future, then they would excuse themself from office.
The vice president would then ascend to the presidency.
It’s also important to note that the term doesn’t start over.
The former vice president only serves the remaining years of the former president’s term.
For example, if a president were to resign in their third year in office, then their vice president would only rule as president for the rest of that third year and the fourth year.
They would not serve as president for four years.
If they wanted to serve as president for four years, then they would need to run for official office after the term was over.
What Happens When A Vice President Resigns?
The 25th Amendment covers what should occur if a vice president resigns, too.
If a vice president succeeds the president, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives will take the role of the vice president in their stead.
However, if the vice president resigns and the president remains in office, then the president can select a new person to become the new vice president.
However, they don’t immediately take office.
The nominated individual has to receive approval from both the Senate and House.
They need a majority vote from both branches of Congress to become the new vice president.
As for the former vice president, they’re able to run as someone’s vice president again in the future even if they resigned.
They’re also able to run for president in the future if they resigned.
However, they can only run if they have not served two terms as president already.
The fact that they resigned doesn’t technically bar them from being able to run for the presidency.
When a vice president resigns, the president can choose someone else for the role.
What Happens If A President Becomes Ill Or Indisposed?
There were some concerns over President Eisenhower’s health while he was president.
He was aware of his health concerns, too, and made them known to the general public.
At the time, there wasn’t anything officially established about the succession of the office of the president.
It was even more unclear in circumstances of short intervals in which the president was not able to perform the duties of the office.
During Eisenhower’s time, he made an agreement with his vice president, Richard Nixon, that, if he should be unable to serve, then Nixon would take over.
The 25th Amendment made things a bit clearer.
It stated that if the president believes that they are going to be out of commission for a time, then they can temporarily give up their powers to the vice president.
Once they’re feeling better, then they can inform the vice president who will release the powers of the presidency back to them.
This has occurred a few times in history already.
In particular, President George W. Bush gave power to his vice president temporarily while he underwent surgery.
When he recovered from the surgery, his presidential powers were returned to him.
Should a president ever need surgery or fall ill for a time and be unable to perform their duties, then they can give the powers of the president to the vice president for a time.
Can The Vice President Remove The President From Office?
There has never been a case in which the vice president removed the president from office.
However, there is a method that allows the vice president to do that.
The 25th Amendment lays out the succession rules for the president and vice president.
It also states that if the vice president believes that the sitting president is not capable of performing their duties, then they can take the issue to the Senate.
With the Senate, they can vote to remove the president from office.
To do so, they need a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Obviously, this is very difficult to do, especially with party politics in play.
Depending on the popularity of the president, it might also result in consequences from the general public.
This type of expulsion would likely only occur if the president were extremely ill and unresponsive.
It might occur if they suffered some form of traumatic injury and were no longer of sound mind to lead a nation.
In this case, both the Senate and the House might be more willing to vote for the removal of the president since the individual cannot perform their duties.
It also wouldn’t face much opposition from the general public who would likely realize that an enfeebled president shouldn’t be running the country.
The 25th Amendment allows the vice president to work with Congress to remove a president that they deem is no longer fit for office.
Can A President Run For A Third Term If It Isn’t Consecutive With Their Other Terms?
No, an individual cannot run for a third term at all.
The 22nd Amendment set the term limit for the presidential office to two terms.
That comes out to eight years of service.
Even if a president serves two terms and waits several years before running again, they’re still unable to run.
They have already satisfied the two-term limit.
This became a situation with President Franklin Roosevelt who ended up serving three full terms and started a fourth.
To ensure presidents were unable to serve more than eight years in the future, Congress passed the 22nd Amendment.
No matter how much time has passed since the end of their second term, a former president cannot run for a third term of the presidency.
How Many Times Can A Person Run For President?
There is no limit to the times an individual can run for presidential office.
The only limit that exists is for individuals who have already served as the president.
If they served two terms already, then they’re unable to run for president again.
If the individual has only served for a single term, then they can run for a second term.
For someone who has never served as president, they can continue to run for election as many times as they like.
However, not many candidates run several times in a row.
That’s because it’s extremely expensive to run for president.
There are some qualifications that a person needs to satisfy to show that they have public support.
The first is that they need to raise at least $5,000 in 20 states.
This demonstrates that they have the support of a decent number of people in the state.
They can’t receive $5,000 from a single donor and still qualify, however.
They need at least 29 different donors in those 20 states.
There are limits to how much money they can spend on their campaign.
That number varies by state, but it tends to cap out at $10 million overall.
Only $50,000 of that can come from their personal funds.
If you’re trying to avoid taking money from corporations, then you’re relying on public support.
If the public likes what they’re hearing, then it’s easy to secure their support.
However, not everyone has the right platform or charisma to gain public support.
As such, you end up having to pay most of your way on your own.
Aside from career politicians and wealthy businessmen, not everyone has the funds to finance their presidential campaign.
Doing so year after year is even more difficult.
It tends to keep people from running several times.
At most, candidates run one to three times in their lifetimes.
While there’s no limit to the number of times a person who hasn’t served two terms in office can run for president, financial burdens and qualifications can bar many from repeated attempts.
What Is The Resign-To-Run Law?
Some states have a Resign-To-Run Law.
This law requires any individual who intends to run for a higher office to resign from their current position first.
This is because they worry that the individual might abuse their lower position with their higher position.
They also worry that while running, they might use the connections they make during the campaign to further abuse and influence their former position.
To avoid corruption, the individual has to resign from their position before running.
An example might be a senator who is currently representing their state.
If the senator wanted to run for president, then they’d need to resign from office first.
Then they could start their campaign for the presidency.
This adds some risk on behalf of the senator, too.
They’d be without a job if they failed to secure the position of the president.
In this way, it also protects the state’s people since they initially voted for the senator to represent them.
Without the risk, a senator can abandon their post without much concern for those they leave behind.
The law ensures that senators think carefully before running for the presidency.
This is also why you may have special elections throughout the year.
If a politician decides to run for a higher office, then they’ll resign first.
A special election occurs to fill their vacancy.
The Resign-To-Run Law only affects a few states, but it’s an effective way to fight corruption and force senators to think about the people they represent first and their personal ambitions second.
Can A President Who Resigned Become President Again?
You may wonder what the chances are that a president who resigned will become the president again.
As long as they haven’t served two terms already, then the individual can run for office.
However, there are a few factors that can make their actual election to the office difficult.
Here are some reasons a president who resigned may not find themselves elected for the same office again later.
1. Loss Of Faith
Unless there are sympathetic reasons behind the resignation, in most cases, resignation from the presidential office shows weakness.
As such, the American people won’t have faith that the individual can do the job again.
They proved that the office was too much for them to handle.
When the election comes around, unless the former president can make the people sympathetic to them, then they’re not going to do well at the polls.
A lack of faith in the individual’s ability and capability to perform the strenuous role of the president usually means that person isn’t going to become the president again.
2. Weakness On The World Stage
Most people want their leaders to be able to appear strong on the world stage.
When their leaders appear strong, then the nation appears strong.
When a leader appears weak, then it suggests that the nation is also weak.
Resigning from the office gives the idea that the individual could not handle the stresses of the office.
Regarding President Nixon’s resignation, it symbolized guilt.
That also showed weakness on the world stage.
It suggested that the highest office of the American government was corrupt.
Someone running for president after resigning from the office will need to prove to the world that they’re capable of running the country.
3. Guilt Or Confession Of Crime
In President Nixon’s case, many saw his resignation as an admission of guilt.
Depending on the situation, some might also see another president’s resignation as an admission of guilt, too.
If a situation arises that makes it clear that the president was involved in some criminal activity, then they might resign from office rather than go through impeachment.
The American public would see this as a confession that they were, indeed, involved with the crime.
If that same individual were to run for office again later, then the confession would likely still be in the back of the minds of all the voters.
Even if the president were later found innocent, there’d always be that sense of doubt.
Why would they have resigned if they were innocent?
Overcoming that question can be difficult for the candidate.
As such, they might not find success if they were to run for president again.
4. Loss Of Support
A president rarely becomes president on their own.
They usually have to make deals with donors to help them gain the funds and influence that they need to pull ahead of the other candidates.
Donors spend lots of money on candidates that they think will lobby in their favor.
When a president resigns, then that’s money lost.
It’ll be harder to gain the trust and money of those donors again in the future.
Because of this, the candidate may not be able to get the funds they need to run a successful campaign.
When they resigned, the president lost the support of big-spending donors who will be unwilling to take a gamble on them again.
How A President Who Resigned Can Become Elected
While someone who resigned from the presidency will face a very difficult situation if they choose to run for office again, there is something they can do to help their chances of becoming elected again.
They need to play on the sympathies of everyone.
For example, if a president had to resign because of a family situation, particularly a medically-related one, then they can easily play on the hearts of the general public.
They can show the general public how similar they are to each other.
They can even use the experience to shine a light on the health problem that caused them to resign in the first place.
This makes them appear more human to voters.
Even presidents who resigned because of a crime may be able to find success if they can prove without a doubt that they were innocent.
They shouldn’t build their entire campaign around their absolution, but they should be able to defend their actions in a short amount of time before moving on with their platform.
By understanding how to reach the hearts of Americans, presidents who have resigned can find some success in gaining support and becoming president once more.
When a president resigns, they’re eligible for reelection if they haven’t served for two terms.
Even if they resigned in their second term, it still counts as a full term.
When a president resigns, the vice president takes over the position.