Rachel L. West, MSW, LMSW
Last night in Iowa President Barack Obama made his final speech as a candidate. Regardless of how the election turns (fingers crossed he will be reelected tonight) President Obama will, in all likelihood, never seek elected office after today.
This got me thinking of former presidents post White House careers. The presidency is term limited to two four year terms, but there is nothing preventing a former president from running for another elected office, yet so few have gone down this road. Most will leave public office and head out on to the lecture circuit while also carrying out humanitarian work. They may from time to time be called upon by the sitting president to act as an unofficial ambassador, delivering messages to foreign heads of state or performing ceremonial duties such as attending state funerals. In the entire history of of the United States ten former presidents have ran for public office with only two of them winning their respective races.
John Quincy Adams, was elected to the House a year after leaving the presidency. He remained there until his death. Literally. He suffered a stroke in 1848 while on the house floor and died two days later in the Speakers Room of the Capital Building. (Michael Beschloss & Huge Sidny (2009). Biography of John Quincy Adams. [ONLINE] Available at: whitehouse.gov/about/president/johnquincyadams. [Last Accessed 11/6/2012].)
Then there was John Tyler who, after the south ceded from the union, helped establish the Confederate government. He was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives where he served until his death. This also made him the only US president to hold an elected position for a foreign government. (Unknown (2012). List of Former United States Presidents Who Ran for Office After Leaving the Presidency. [ONLINE] Available at: e.g. . [Last Accessed 11/6/2012].)
Michael Beschloss & Huge Sidny (2009). Biography of John Quincy Adams. [ONLINE] Available at: whitehouse.gov/about/president/johnquincyadams. [Last Accessed 11/6/2012].
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