The Trump Inauguration’s verified Twitter account just made a very off-beat tribute to America’s shortest serving president, the late President William Henry Harrison who only survived 32 days in office:
— Trump Inauguration (@TrumpInaugural) December 23, 2016
President William Henry Harrison’s term was solely notable for setting the “Tyler Precedent.” After he died, Vice President John Tyler immediately assumed the office of President using his actions to define the meanings of some ambiguous constitutional wording.
In the early 1960s – after the Kennedy assassination – and at the height of the Cold War, Congress took the time propose, and the states quickly ratified the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, clarifying the Presidential succession, the authority to appoint a new Vice President, and for the first time an explicit method where a President could relinquish authority if incapacitated.
For the first time, the 25th Amendment also provided Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet power to declare the President disabled with notice to the heads of both Houses of Congress. Some observers openly fear that Trump’s predilections for retired Generals may lead to a Coup, while others think that appointing men like Gens. Mad Dog Mattis, Matt Flynn and John Kelly itself would amount to an unwelcome transfer of power to the military tantamount to a takeover.
The only time Article 4 of the 25th Amendment has been seriously considered being invoked against a sitting President was against Ronald Reagan, whose complete consciousness while in office was doubted by many. Until Trump is sworn in, Reagan still stands as the oldest American to begin a term in the Oval Office, and his second term left a trail of medical mysteries that are still unsolved today.
Between unceasing calls to impeach Donald Trump for his certain to commence Constitutional violations if inaugurated and the President-elect’s myriad foreign business entanglements, there is no reason to doubt that he’s got a shot at breaking President Harrison’s record for service.
This is one record we can all cheer on the Trump Administration to break, thereby achieving a slice of immortality.
The sooner, the better.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition