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February 24, 2019
CQ Press Encyclopedia of American Government

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Have You Heard

John Tyler's assumption of the title and powers of the presidency after the death of William Henry Harrison resolved most doubts about the vice president's rights in that situation, but questions still remained about what happened if the president were impaired but not dead. For example, Chester A. Arthur waited helplessly during the seventy-nine days that James Garfield lay in a coma before dying of an assassin's bullet. More recently, the health problems of President Dwight Eisenhower created periods when it was unclear whether Vice President Richard Nixon should have taken over some responsibilities. Eisenhower did authorize Nixon to act in case of nuclear attack.  more...

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