Minimal Qualifications Required - The President of the United States

  | James Innes

Over 35 years of age, a natural-born citizen and have lived in the United States for a minimum of 14 years? If the answer is yet to all of the above, then you have all the qualifications needed to become Leader of the Free World. No need for a college degree or a past employment record. With the presidential election reaching a tense climax, it may be a good time to look at some of the more unusual career paths that have led past incumbents to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

A number of Presidents have enjoyed successful careers as lawyers. Should Hillary Clinton succeed in her bid, she will join a list that includes present incumbent Barack Obama, and, past presidents, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and, most famously, Abraham Lincoln, who all leveraged a successful career in the law to gain the White House.

However, her challenger, Donald Trump, is best known as a reality TV star as well as being a successful property tycoon. His story is by no means an exception.

Ronald Reagan is perhaps the most popular US president in recent memory. Yet he began his career as a Hollywood actor, starring in a series of B movies – although he was apparently considered for the lead role in Casablanca – in the 1930s and 1940s, before becoming head of the Screen Actors Guild and beginning a journey into politics which lead him to two terms in the Oval Office.

Jimmy Carter, his predecessor, enjoyed a long career in the navy before switching to agriculture and peanut farming. Despite initially struggling, he and his wife grew the business into a success, before he became engaged in local politics.

The man who dropped the atomic bombs, Harry S. Truman, enjoyed a less than stellar career in retail. After serving in World War 1, Truman opened a haberdashery store with a friend from the army, Eddie Jacobson. The store closed during a recession in the 1920s.

Education has proved the early career of choice for several Presidents. Lyndon B. Jonson taught in rural and low-income schools in Texas for less than US $2,000 a year during the Great Depression, whilst Woodrow Wilson taught political science at Princeton.

Meanwhile Herbert Hoover can claim to have had several careers before reaching the Oval Office – including geologist, miner, engineer and corporate executive.

Whatever their route to the White House, they have all ended up with the most powerful job in the world. We will soon know the identity of the 45th President of the United States, but it will not be long before the race for the 46thbegins.

If you meet the minimum requirements, perhaps it could be you.

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