Q&A: How old does a presidential candidate have to be?

President has to be 35

Is there a minimum age that one has to be in order to run for the presidency?

The U.S. Constitution says a person must be at least 35 to be president or vice president. At 42, Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest president, sworn in after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901. John F. Kennedy was the youngest president elected, at age 43. Ronald Reagan, at 69, was the oldest president to take office. At January's inauguration, Barack Obama will be 47, and John McCain will be 72.

McCain is with wife No. 2

How many times has U.S. Sen. John McCain been married?

John McCain has had two wives. He married Philadelphia model Carol Shepp in 1965 after meeting her while training as a pilot in Pensacola. They divorced in April 1980 after 14 years of marriage. A month after the divorce, McCain married Cindy Lou Hensley, heir to Phoenix-based Hensley & Co., the nation's second-largest Anheuser-Busch distributor. She is 54.

13 presidents didn't serve

How many former presidents did not serve in the military, and what are their names?

Thirteen, according to Facts About the Presidents, seventh edition, not including service in state National Guards. They were John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Grover Cleveland, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Bill Clinton.

Biden was old enough

Joe Biden entered the Senate at age 29. The Constitution says a person must be at least age 30 to be a senator. What am I missing?

Vice presidential nominee Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden Jr. was born on Nov. 20, 1942, making him 30 years old when he was sworn in as U.S. senator from Delaware on Jan. 3, 1973. The U.S. Constitution states, "No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen."

Missouri usually gets its way

Why is Missouri a "bellwether" state?

A bellwether, from Anglo-Saxon times, is a castrated male sheep, or wether, who leads the flock and wears a bell. Nowadays, bellwether refers to a leading indicator of future trends. Missouri is called a bellwether state because it has been on the winning side in every presidential race except one in the past 100 years. The exception: in the 1956 presidential election, Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson carried Missouri but lost to President Dwight Eisenhower.

Q&A: How old does a presidential candidate have to be? 10/09/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 9, 2008 7:05pm]

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