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If He Believes It, It Must Be So [Obama's scary interview]
Weekly Standard ^ | March 3, 2014 | Elliott Abrams

Posted on 03/03/2014 10:33:32 AM PST by greyfoxx39

On the eve of the Netanyahu visit to Washington, President Obama gave a lengthy interview to Jeffrey Goldberg that shows a chief executive who has learned next to nothing about the world in his five years in office.

First, kudos to Goldberg: he pressed Obama repeatedly, challenging vague formulations and seeking clarity. Goldberg pushed Obama hard, especially on Iran and Syria.

Obama isn’t good off the cuff, especially when challenged; he is far better with a prepared speech. And what emerged is an awful portrait of the president and his conception of the world.

Take Syria.

Here’s what Obama said:

“I think those who believe that two years ago, or three years ago, there was some swift resolution to this thing had we acted more forcefully, fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the conflict in Syria and the conditions on the ground there. … Over the last two years I have pushed our teams to find out what are the best options in a bad situation. … But I’ve looked at a whole lot of game plans, a whole lot of war plans, a whole bunch of scenarios, and nobody has been able to persuade me that us taking large-scale military action even absent boots on the ground, would actually solve the problem. And those who make that claim do so without a lot of very specific information.”

Who are these people who have inadequate information, misunderstand the conflict in Syria, and think there is much more the United States could have done? They include both of Obama’s secretaries of state, Clinton and Kerry, his former defense secretary Leon Panetta, and his former CIA director David Petraeus—all of whom wanted much more U.S. support for the Syrian rebels. And perhaps more to the point, take the case of Fred Hof.

Hof has been working on Syria and the broader Middle East since the 1970s, first as a career Army officer and then for the State Department. He was given the rank of ambassador and the title of “special adviser” on Syria by Obama in 2012. Hof has left the government and is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, where he writes regularly about Syria at the Council’s web site. He knows far more about Syria than Mr. Obama and saw the same intelligence Mr. Obama did (in fact, he no doubt read a lot more of it). And what he writes is filled with growing anguish and anger about Obama’s failure to act in the face of mass murder by the criminal regime in Damascus. But to Obama, any such criticism “fundamentally misunderstands…conditions on the ground there,” which of course only Obama really understands.

Obama’s “arguments” about Syria in the Goldberg interview are insulting to his former (and, in Kerry’s case, current) top advisers, whose advice he rejected, and misleading about their advice. He describes a situation where ignorant critics seek “large scale military action,” which is akin to the administration’s claim that those who want sanctions on Iran are “warmongers.” But that is a false description, for what was recommended time after time was serious help to the rebels, and a one-time strike (“incredibly small,” said Kerry, not “large scale”) at chemical weapons assets.

So we have the president deriding those who disagreed with him—who include his top aides and top experts—and refusing, even now, to understand that his policy of passivity in Syria has produced nearly the worst of all possible worlds: 150,000 dead, 6 million homeless, and a menacing gathering of perhaps 25,000 jihadists at the heart of the Middle East.

On Israel, Obama was harsh and unfriendly to Netanyahu just days before the Netanyahu visit—quite a welcome to Washington. But the errors of his own analysis are striking. He says we must give the Palestinians “the dignity of a state,” but the Tunisians and Egyptians and other Arabs who rebelled in the “Arab Spring” had a state. They lacked dignity because that state treated them with contempt, giving them no real freedom and jailing them if they asked for it. Under Mr. Obama corruption in the Palestinian Authority has exploded and they have gone five additional years without an election.

Mr. Obama says this:
“Palestinians would still prefer peace. They would still prefer a country of their own that allows them to find a job, send their kids to school, travel overseas, go back and forth to work without feeling as if they are restricted or constrained as a people.”
If they would also prefer freedom of the press and of speech, and free elections, and an independent court system, and a government that does not steal their money, well, that isn’t of much interest to Mr. Obama. It isn’t even worth mentioning. So he would give the Palestinians the “dignity” that led to oppression and uprisings elsewhere in the Arab world, and seems to have no interest in the actual conditions of political life in the state he would create.

The burden of making peace is put entirely on Israeli shoulders. PA president Abbas (whose term ended five years ago, and who is surrounded by growing corruption) is portrayed as a lovely man ready for peace—no mention that he refused it when it was offered by then-prime minister Olmert in 2008. Is Abbas really ready, now, to sign what he would not back then: an agreement that ends the conflict entirely and finally tells Palestinian “refugees” that they have no right to go to Israel? An agreement that acknowledges Israel as a Jewish state? These doubts are never acknowledged by Obama, who assumes that the only problems are on the Israeli side.

Then comes the kind of vague threat that Secretary Kerry has also made, in his case perhaps without meaning to:
“What we also know is that Israel has become more isolated internationally. We had to stand up in the Security Council in ways that 20 years ago would have involved far more European support, far more support from other parts of the world when it comes to Israel’s position.”

Now in truth the Obama administration has stood up in the Security Council with great reluctance, trying desperately at times to avoid vetoes of anti-Israel resolutions that deserved a quick and easy refusal. And that American reluctance to side clearly and early on with Israel in the Security Council has encouraged the Europeans to draw back as well, so the Obama account has it backwards. But the message remains clear: if Israel refuses the terms we give it, life will become tougher.

The difference between an American prediction of greater international isolation and an American promise that it will come is not very great.

OBAMA: “if you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction -- and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time -- if Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited.

GOLDBERG: Willingness, or ability?
OBAMA: Not necessarily willingness, but ability to manage international fallout is going to be limited. And that has consequences.
As to that “aggressive settlement construction,” it is worth noting that at Obama’s request Netanyahu suspended construction in settlements for ten months in 2009. Apparently that gesture, its political cost for Netanyahu, and the fact that it gained Netanyahu and Israeli absolutely nothing from the Palestinians or the Europeans, is now forgotten.

Israelis remember, as perhaps Mr. Obama does not, that getting out of Gaza required Ariel Sharon to fight a two-year political battle that caused him to lose his party: he had to leave Likud and found a new party, Kadima. And that was about Gaza, where only 7,500 Jews lived in a small number of settlements in an area of no religious significance. The political battle over the West Bank would be far greater, so Obama is telling Netanyahu he must risk his own and his party’s future—on faith in both Abbas’s reliability and Mr. Obama’s own. In the Sharon case, he took the risks only when he had secured an absolute promise of support from George W. Bush, whom he viewed as a reliable partner. Mr. Obama did not help his cause when, upon coming to office, he disregarded all the pledges Bush made to Sharon in 2004. In Kerry’s negotiations, any real peace deal would be reached next year or in 2016, when Obama will be a lame duck. Who knows what American pledges will be worth, when after all Obama disregarded all of the ones his own predecessor made.

When it comes to Iran, Obama shows an attitude that can only be described as solipsistic: what’s in his mind is reality. And any other reality is just plain silly. Here is the key exchange:
GOLDBERG: So just to be clear: You don’t believe the Iranian leadership now thinks that your “all options are on the table” threat as it relates to their nuclear program -- you don’t think that they have stopped taking that seriously?

OBAMA: I know they take it seriously.

GOLDBERG: How do you know they take it seriously?

OBAMA: We have a high degree of confidence that when they look at 35,000 U.S. military personnel in the region that are engaged in constant training exercises under the direction of a president who already has shown himself willing to take military action in the past, that they should take my statements seriously. And the American people should as well, and the Israelis should as well, and the Saudis should as well….

GOLDBERG: So why are the Sunnis so nervous about you?

OBAMA: Well, I don’t think this is personal. I think that there are shifts that are taking place in the region that have caught a lot of them off guard. I think change is always scary.

It’s pretty obvious to all analysts that Iran does not fear an American military strike much these days, especially after Mr. Obama’s failure to act in Syria last summer. But Obama denies it, referring to himself in the third person as someone “who has shown himself willing to take military action.” Drones, sure; a quick raid as well. But in Libya and Syria, he showed himself extremely reluctant to take military action. Remember “leading from behind?” If he genuinely thinks he is viewed as a scary guy with his finger near the trigger, we all have a problem.

Goldberg pushes him, asking why (as is obvious) no one in the Gulf believes Obama.

“I don’t think it is personal,” says the president; the problem is them, not him, and his analysis is therapeutic: change is always scary, and they are having trouble catching up with it. But talk with Gulf Arabs and one finds quickly that it is in fact quite personal: they don’t trust Mr. Obama. They believe his handling of Iran and Syria and for that matter of Russia have made the world a more dangerous place.

Change is apparently not scary to Mr. Obama, who is confident all his policies are right. Those who disagree are uninformed, or itching for conflict, or ignorant about the risks they will soon face, or sadly unable to adapt to world events.

This is the Obama who said of his own nomination that “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” If he believes it, it must be so. The Goldberg interview reveals that five years in, nothing has changed.

Obama’s “arguments” about Syria in the Goldberg interview are insulting to his former (and, in Kerry’s case, current) top advisers, whose advice he rejected, and misleading about their adviceObama’s “arguments” about Syria in the Goldberg interview are insulting to his former (and, in Kerry’s case, current) top advisers, whose advice he rejected, and misleading about their advice


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ignoramus; presmompants; putin; weakobama
We see the total ignorance and arrogance of the community organizer in full bloom. God help this nation and the world.
1 posted on 03/03/2014 10:33:32 AM PST by greyfoxx39
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To: Jim Robinson; Nachum; Diana in Wisconsin; Kakaze; Tammy8; metmom; Cap Huff; svcw; leapfrog0202; ...

Ping


2 posted on 03/03/2014 10:34:55 AM PST by greyfoxx39 (We can thank Mitt Romney for the present situation in our country. His feet are made of clay.)
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To: greyfoxx39
I didn't get through the entire post, but regarding the Syria part (the first example), if the choice was between inept incompetence - resulting in no useful actions vs. taking active involvement in supporting the Syrian ‘rebels’ (aka, Al Queda thugs) urged by ‘experts’ .... I will go with inept incompetence.

I will buy the article's premise that the poser sitting in the White House is not qualified to manage a McDonald's franchise, let along a Nation -- but in the Syria case I am glad he fumbled any chances of decisively supporting the rebels to victory. Score one for inept incompetence.

3 posted on 03/03/2014 10:41:43 AM PST by El Cid (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house...)
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To: greyfoxx39

We see the total ignorance and arrogance of the community organizer

****************

Let’s hope the old axiom “pride comes before the fall” applies to him soon.


4 posted on 03/03/2014 10:42:03 AM PST by Starboard
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To: greyfoxx39

John Bolton said it best on Sunday.

“0bama believes his rhetoric is reality”


5 posted on 03/03/2014 10:42:17 AM PST by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
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6 posted on 03/03/2014 10:46:18 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: greyfoxx39
We'll survive, at least in the short term.

Many others will not, and by the time this leftist idiot leaves office, we'll be completely without allies.

7 posted on 03/03/2014 10:47:28 AM PST by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
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To: greyfoxx39

While future historians will be grateful to Mr. Goldberg for documenting Mr. Obama’s vapidity, those living in the present can only suffer and endure.


8 posted on 03/03/2014 10:49:38 AM PST by allendale
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To: DJ MacWoW

The life and times of a sociopathic narcissist.


9 posted on 03/03/2014 10:52:47 AM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: greyfoxx39

If you view his actions, as I do, as the actions of a man who is intent on the destruction of both the US and Israel, then everything he has done makes perfect sense. The alienation of our former allies are part of the same plan, IMHO.


10 posted on 03/03/2014 10:55:07 AM PST by Foundahardheadedwoman (God don't have a statute of limitations)
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To: greyfoxx39

Everyone now realizes what a “fantastic” president obama is- all of his viewpoints are based on obama fantasy, all of our domestic and foreign polices are based on obama fantasies.


11 posted on 03/03/2014 10:55:18 AM PST by matthew fuller (We desperately need a Commander in Chief, not a Coward in Chief.)
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To: El Cid

Good point RE: Syria.

However, I think you might have overestimated Mr. Soetero’s abilities. Not only is he not qualified to manage a McDonald’s franchise; he is not even qualified to manage a napkin dispenser in a McDonald’s franchise.


12 posted on 03/03/2014 10:58:30 AM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: greyfoxx39

Remember Jerry, it’s not a lie if you believe it.
-— George Costanza


13 posted on 03/03/2014 11:03:41 AM PST by Old Yeller (In Latin, the word sinister means left. Which is appropriate for left-wingers.)
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To: greyfoxx39

This president is dangerously delusional...I wonder if Valerie Jarrett is using this illness for her own purposes....Mr. Obama’s sociopathic tendencies are more than alarming...and America is losing all trust in this man.


14 posted on 03/03/2014 11:05:51 AM PST by yoe
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To: greyfoxx39

The rest of the world is in a feeding frenzy to chew as much of our carcass up as they can get before Obama leaves the scene.


15 posted on 03/03/2014 11:06:21 AM PST by Williams (No Obama)
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To: greyfoxx39

a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state

I’m just trying to wrap my mind around how they
can conceive of such a thing without dividing
Israel into two parts?

tunnels? Overpasses? Palestinian/Israeli corridor?
How?
Just what sort of deluded self generated world do
these morons live in?
For over SIXTY YEARS Palestinian Arabs have denied
the existance of the Israeli state in the face of
reality. Now they’ve convinced the liberals to
join in their madness. Islamic ideology calls for
the extermination of Jews, not neighborlyness.
Should the extermination of Israel itself happen
will Obama THEN draw a red line? Will he tell them
“Hey, that wasn’t part of the agreement?”
It would seem that he and his followers do not
recognise that the reality of “Never Again” means
the same thing as “Shall NOT be infringed”.

To allow or attempt either one by a US. administration
is to cross a red line held inviolate by more
Americans than they imagine.


16 posted on 03/03/2014 11:06:28 AM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: raybbr

Bfl


17 posted on 03/03/2014 11:10:48 AM PST by raybbr (Obamacare needs a death panel.)
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To: greyfoxx39

Didn’t Egypt just sign a weapons deal with Russia?

If Barky didn’t suffer so badly from “cranial-rectal” inversion (insertion?), he might realize that this is a REALLY bad sign, that shows our allies are becoming “former allies” and no longer trust us...

Mark


18 posted on 03/03/2014 11:18:18 AM PST by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: yoe
This president is dangerously delusional...I wonder if Valerie Jarrett is using this illness for her own purposes....Mr. Obama’s sociopathic tendencies are more than alarming...and America is losing all trust in this man.

Too bad for us, statists don't give a damn what we think.

20 posted on 03/03/2014 11:45:59 AM PST by COBOL2Java (I'm a Christian, pro-life, pro-gun, Reaganite. The GOP hates me. Why should I vote for them?)
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To: greyfoxx39

Thanks


21 posted on 03/03/2014 11:48:35 AM PST by svcw (Not 'hope and change' but 'dopes in chains')
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To: greyfoxx39

obama has a low IQ with poorly developed cognitive powers. As someone has pointed out here, he is a mimic.


22 posted on 03/03/2014 11:52:01 AM PST by Salvey
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To: Salvey

Clown Prince nobama is the ultimate proof that LIBs are insane.


23 posted on 03/03/2014 11:53:53 AM PST by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: greyfoxx39
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3128728/posts?page=32#32

Obama is an ideological narcissist brat boy who is too stupid to learn from experience.

I said this yesterday. I standby my tone and every single syllable I typed.

24 posted on 03/03/2014 12:02:42 PM PST by Chgogal (Obama "hung the SEALs out to dry, basically exposed them like a set of dog balls..." CMH)
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To: Chgogal

Good post.


25 posted on 03/03/2014 12:07:03 PM PST by greyfoxx39 (We can thank Mitt Romney for the present situation in our country. His feet are made of clay.)
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To: All; ColdOne
OH NOES!!!

“At this point we're not just considering sanctions; given the actions Russia has taken it is likely that we will put those in place," Psaki said. "And we are preparing that right now.”

Obama administration preparing sanctions vs. Russia

FR Thread here: Obama administration preparing sanctions vs. Russia


26 posted on 03/03/2014 12:13:23 PM PST by greyfoxx39 (We can thank Mitt Romney for the present situation in our country. His feet are made of clay.)
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To: DJ MacWoW

or maybe Obama and his Administration are really that STUPID


27 posted on 03/03/2014 12:37:31 PM PST by molson209 (Hillary Clinton)
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To: molson209

Oh he is stupid but he also hates America. He was raised by communists.


28 posted on 03/03/2014 12:40:28 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Chgogal; greyfoxx39



29 posted on 03/03/2014 12:50:52 PM PST by potlatch ("Dream as if you'll live forever...Live as if you'll die today")
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To: greyfoxx39
On the eve of the Netanyahu visit to Washington, President Obama gave a lengthy interview to Jeffrey Goldberg that shows a chief executive who has learned next to nothing about the world in his five years in office.

Then he is extremely qualified to lead TCOJSOLDS when his stint as POTUS is over. (#5)






In conclusion let us summarize this grand key, these “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet”, for our salvation depends on them.


1. The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.
2. The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.
3. The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.
4. The prophet will never lead the church astray.
5. The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.
6. The prophet does not have to say “Thus Saith the Lord,” to give us scripture.
7. The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.
8. The prophet is not limited by men’s reasoning.
9. The prophet can receive revelation on any matter, temporal or spiritual.
10. The prophet may advise on civic matters.
11. The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.
12. The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.
13. The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency—the highest quorum in the Church.
14. The prophet and the presidency—the living prophet and the First Presidency—follow them and be blessed—reject them and suffer.

I testify that these fourteen fundamentals in following the living prophet are true. If we want to know how well we stand with the Lord then let us ask ourselves how well we stand with His mortal captain—how close do our lives harmonize with the Lord’s anointed—the living Prophet—President of the Church, and with the Quorum of the First Presidency.

Ezra Taft Benson

(Address given Tuesday, February 26, 1980 at Brigham Young University)     http://www.lds.org/liahona/1981/06/fourteen-fundamentals-in-following-the-prophet?lang=eng

30 posted on 03/03/2014 2:18:33 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Starboard
Let’s hope the old axiom “pride comes before the fall” applies to him soon.


3 USC § 19. Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act.

(a)
(1) If, by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, there is neither a President nor Vice President to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, upon his resignation as Speaker and as Representative in Congress, act as President.
(2) The same rule shall apply in the case of the death, resignation, removal from office, or inability of an individual acting as President under this subsection.
(b)
If, at the time when under subsection (a) of this section a Speaker is to begin the discharge of the powers and duties of the office of President, there is no Speaker, or the Speaker fails to qualify as Acting President, then the President pro tempore of the Senate shall, upon his resignation as President pro tempore and as Senator, act as President.
(c)
An individual acting as President under subsection (a) or subsection (b) of this section shall continue to act until the expiration of the then current Presidential term, except that -
(1) if his discharge of the powers and duties of the office is founded in whole or in part on the failure of both the President-elect and the Vice-President-elect to qualify, then he shall act only until a President or Vice President qualifies; and
(2) if his discharge of the powers and duties of the office is founded in whole or in part on the inability of the President or Vice President, then he shall act only until the removal of the disability of one of such individuals.
(d)
(1) If, by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, there is no President pro tempore to act as President under subsection (b) of this section, then the officer of the United States who is highest on the following list, and who is not under disability to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President shall act as President: Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of Homeland Security.
(2) An individual acting as President under this subsection shall continue so to do until the expiration of the then current Presidential term, but not after a qualified and prior-entitled individual is able to act, except that the removal of the disability of an individual higher on the list contained in paragraph (1) of this subsection or the ability to qualify on the part of an individual higher on such list shall not terminate his service.
(3) The taking of the oath of office by an individual specified in the list in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be held to constitute his resignation from the office by virtue of the holding of which he qualifies to act as President.
(e)
Subsections (a), (b), and (d) of this section shall apply only to such officers as are eligible to the office of President under the Constitution. Subsection (d) of this section shall apply only to officers appointed, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, prior to the time of the death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, of the President pro tempore, and only to officers not under impeachment by the House of Representatives at the time the powers and duties of the office of President devolve upon them.
(f)
During the period that any individual acts as President under this section, his compensation shall be at the rate then provided by law in the case of the President.

31 posted on 03/03/2014 2:23:10 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Old Yeller
Remember Michelle...it's not a lie if I believe it.

-Barack Hussein Obama.

32 posted on 03/03/2014 4:03:12 PM PST by Osage Orange (I have strong feelings about gun control. If there's a gun around, I want to be controlling it.)
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