Talk:List of presidents of the United States by time in office

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Previously unsectioned comments[edit]

Why, when sorting terms in increasing length, is the incumbent (in this case Trump) found last? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:43, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Why did Polk serve 1 less day than the other 1 term Presidents? (Barring Adams, who didn't have a leap year.) Timrollpickering 19:05, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I believe it's because in 1849, March 4 fell on a Sunday, according to this Day of the Week Calculator so they had the inauguration a day early, on Saturday, March 5. jengod 19:43, Oct 28, 2004 (UTC)
Hmmm...looks like Zachary Taylor wasn't sworn in until March 5, so I guess there was a gap there. But still...I think Sunday got in the way. jengod 19:47, Oct 28, 2004 (UTC)
And, here we are: David Rice Atchison explains it all. jengod 19:49, Oct 28, 2004 (UTC)
Hmm - but surely that 1 day would have come out of Zachary Taylor's term, not Polk's? Timrollpickering 20:56, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I used the dates on our President pages and did the calculations with this calculate duration between two dates thingy. That's all I know. :) jengod 21:06, Oct 28, 2004 (UTC)
I get both Van Buren and Pierce (the nearest full 1 termers) at 1460 as well. Hmm... Timrollpickering 21:20, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)
These numbers cannot be right, and I have fixed them. John Adams' term was a day short because there was no leap year in 1800; however, all other one-term Presidents have 1,461 days. The Zachary Taylor thing is an urban legend, as explained on the David Rice Atchison page. (I have seen some sources showing Presidential terms before 1934 ending at midnight on March 3, which would make them all shorter, but (a) the tradition was always for inauguration at noon, and (b) if this were correct, Presidents such as Hoover and B. Harrison should have been in the 1,460 day category, which they weren't.) RussBlau 19:57, Apr 11, 2005 (UTC)

President Barack Obama was re-elected on December 17th when the Electoral College voted.

The numerous, gratuitous mentions of potential dates when President Barack Obama may overtake other presidents as far as timed in office has been removed.

Since you offered no edit description and did not explain here why it is gratuitous, you have been reverted. Ratemonth (talk) 14:22, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

gra·tu·i·tous [gruh-too-i-tuh s, -tyoo-] Show IPA adjective 2. being without apparent reason, cause, or justification.

Furthermore "Obama passes President..." is not a fact. (Curious as to why you presume to address him as "Obama" and not as "President Obama". Is the disrespect intentional?

Unless it is the intent of this article to attempt to predict the future rather than to cite factual information there is no reason benefit to including this supposed data. If it so happens that President Obama should serve more days as President than some of the other Presidents, please make sure that you update this article promptly.

If you are not familiar with the method by which the President of the United States is elected please research and become familiar with it. The 'popular vote' is not the means by which this occurs.

"The United States Electoral College is the institution that officially elects the President and Vice President of the United States every four years. The President and Vice President are not elected directly by the voters. Instead, they are elected indirectly by "electors" who are elected by popular vote on a state-by-state basis.[1]"

The date of that election was December 17th.SteveOak (talk) 19:08, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Your argument is silly and you are rude. You deserve to be ignored. But seriously, perhaps you'd care to offer a reason why putting these dates is gratuitous? You can go on reverting people's edits, but if you make a polite, coherent, and convincing argument then I will not undo your reverts. Ratemonth (talk) 00:37, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

The correct date of election is well cited. If you wish to make a case that a different date should be listed, please make your case and cite references. SteveOak (talk) 02:49, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Electoral college dates are obscure and not important to most readers of Wikipedia.Ratemonth (talk) 03:35, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

In fact it is you who are reversing edits. Additionally you have provided no rational for inclusion of the predictions of when President Obama might overtake other Presidents in the list. SteveOak (talk) 02:49, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

If you'd bother to check you'd see that more than one editor has undone some of your edits. I do however agree that including all these future dates is not necessary. It might be interesting to some readers, but probably does fall afoul of the site's rules. Ratemonth (talk) 03:35, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Nor did you declare your reason for not addressing President Obama by his proper title. This would seem especially appropriate in an article on Presidents of the United States. SteveOak (talk) 02:49, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

That's a very silly thing to say.Ratemonth (talk) 03:35, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Order in list when tied[edit]

There is no consistency of the order the Presidents are listed when they are tied in number of days. It looks like sorta alphabetical with inconsistencies. I suggest for ties, that they be listed in chronological order. So Jefferson before Madison before Monroe before Jackson and so on. NoSeptember (talk) 01:52, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Reasons why?[edit]

Do you think there should be an explanation of why each president served the amount of time he did, just like how it's shown on the Vice President term length page? --RandomOrca2 18:03, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Never mind, I added it. --RandomOrca2 23:22, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Format changes[edit]

  • I made a few format and style changes like the Vice President term length page. Comments welcome. -- MrDolomite | Talk 19:20, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Thinking of reworking the table like the VP page, to better show tied rankings. Feedback yay/nay welcome -- MrDolomite | Talk 19:20, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
    • I think that would be a good idea. --RandomOrca2 23:38, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
  • The sortable wikitable does not order correctly when sorted by Length in Days. I believe this is due to non-numeric values in the column, causing wikitable to order it as text instead of number. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:28, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  • It seems to me that Grover Cleveland's Length in Days entry should just be the total of his two terms, and the fact that it's derived from the sum of two non-contiguous terms should be referenced as a footnote, like other values in this column are. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:36, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Proposed Merger[edit]

I have proposed that List of United States Presidents who served one term or less and List of United States Presidents who served more than one term be merged into this page. Since the basic information from those pages is already availible here all that a merger would require is checking that all the details of their service are covered in the notes section and then redirecting the redundant lists. I'll be happy to do it myself but wanted to make sure of consensus first. Eluchil404 07:42, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Works for me. Not sure what an appropriate title would be. List of United States Presidents by ??? — MrDolomite | Talk 15:37, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good, those two belong on the same page, alot of these Presidential lists belong should be merged where the content is so similar. I have been merging some which were in danger of deletion. I merged First, Middle and Last names into the Nickname page and I'm waiting for an okay from the "delete club" to redirect them all. Jjmillerhistorian 22:18, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I have preformed the merger and redirected the other pages. I have not merged the additional tables sine they are largely redundant to the table here (where a president's placement instantly indicates whether he served one term or more) just the relevant footnotes. Eluchil404 10:46, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Another Leap Year Note[edit]

Speaking of Leap Years, what about Leap Seconds? Reagan and Clinton both served an additional 5 seconds due to the insertion of leap seconds during their tenure. George W Bush served an additional 2 seconds. There have been no other 2 full-term presidents serving during the time when leap seconds have been added to the international calendar. See chart at — Preceding unsigned comment added by Netrc (talkcontribs) 15:38, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

I think adding leap seconds as a footnote would be worthwhile. I attempted to do this but it was reverted because someone else thought it irrelevant. Is there a consensus one way or the other? Volcycle (talk) 02:35, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
It's irrelevant trivia. It does not matter at all and should not be listed here. Earthscent (talk) 03:44, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
I concur, it's irrelevant trivia, and, IMO, adding this incidental detail would not enhance or improve the table in any way. Drdpw (talk) 04:44, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

The one term presidents getting some leap second love are Carter, with +3, and George H.W. Bush, with +3. (Nixon got +3, Ford +3, and Obama as of July 2012, +1) Netrc (talk) 15:41, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

If McKinley had served two full terms, he would have served one day less (9,921) because he didn't have a leap year during his term. Also, if John Adams would have been reelected, he would have similarly served one less day. Only because GW Bush had the fortune to serve during the leap year divisible by 400 will his term (likely, barring impeachment or anything else) equal that of other two term Presidents at 9,221.

Actually, Bill Clinton was president in the year 2000 (the multiple of 400, which makes it an exception to the rule that years ending in -00 are not leap years), so it's Clinton who benefits from not having a time in office one day shorter than other two-term presidents, not Bush. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:19, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

The next chance we have for a President to serve only 9,221 instead of 9,222 will be if a President serves from 2097-2095. Any thoughts? I think it's an interesting footnote.

From 2097-2095? Did you mean 2091-2095? The election would theoretically be in 2092, anyway (barring changes to the current election system between now and then), so it looks like it'd be even longer than 83 years from now.

No, the person meant 2097–2105, as 2100 is the next non-leap year evenly divisible by four. Of course, dying or resigning on January 19 of the year the second term ends would yield the same result -Rrius (talk) 07:35, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I think the president will serve one less day even if he/she serves the full eight-year term from 2093 to 2101 Juve2000 (talk) 03:11, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
There is no such thing as an eight-year term, but you are right that it doesn't matter if the 2097 term is the person's first or second. The winner of the 2096 election (assuming our system continues until then) is the one who matters. -Rrius (talk) 04:24, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

David Rice Atchison[edit]

A footnote should be added to this page about David Rice Atchison, the man who some argue was President de jure for one day. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Polk/Taylor (also Grant/Hayes)[edit]

If Taylor wasn't sworn in until March 5th, doesn't that mean that Polk served an extra day as president?

Or, if people disagree with "it's when they're appointed not when they take the oath", shouldn't Taylor be increased by one day?

I propose leaving Polk at 21st, relegating other one-term presidents to 22nd. His days could be listed as '1461 or 1462', or '1461/2' etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:09, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Please see Talk:Herbert Hoover#March 4, 1933 and Talk:David Rice Atchison#Beginning of "term" - midnight or noon? for past discussion on this point. Basically it is anachronistic to assume that the modern kind of precision about who is President (or acting) at any precise moment applied in times past. It is retroactive and bordering on original research to declare particular Presidents had extra days in their term simply because of when their successor was formally sworn into office. This is especially notable with cases when the President died and the Vice President was not immediately sworn into office - who for example would have discharged the duties of President (and maybe been President) between Harding being certified dead and Coolidge taking the oath in an isolated log cabin? But it also applies when the oath was not taken until or the inauguration not held until the next day, usually because it was a Sunday. The 1849 case with "Atchison was the 11th & 1/2th President" is well known, debated and debunked with the conclusion that Taylor became President on the 4th even though he didn't take the oath until the next day, the Grant/Hayes case is less well known but it's dubious to declare Grant was in control for an extra day. Timrollpickering (talk) 15:30, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Another editor has been adding this same point as it allegedly pertains to Grant and Hayes. Taking the oath deosn't make you Presdient, and Grnat doesn't get an extra-constitutional extra day just because a ceremony was delayed. Coemgenus 03:10, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
So like getting married without the ceremony. Cool! Yeah, just leave Grant an extra day, there is no law not to. ZenCopain (talk) 03:21, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
The law (i.e., the Constitution of the United States) says that Presidents' terms begin and end on January 20 (in Grant's day, it was March 4), not when they take the oath. There is no legal way that Grant's term gets an extra day. Coemgenus 15:06, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
The presidental oath of office is mandatory for a President upon beginning a term of office. Since Hayes did not take oath on the end of Grants term, and since he could not be de facto president, since Grant was not dead or resigned, then Grant would legally continue to duties of president even on the day of March 4th and 5th until noon.
We need a source that says this. All the reliable soruces I've seen say that Hayes was President on the 4th rather than Atchison. I have never seen the claim that Grant was president that day. Eluchil404 (talk) 06:06, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
All sources that say that Grant's term end on the 4th and Hayes did not need to be sworn in are from the same sources that come from the original statement in 1877 that Hayes term started there. The evidence is legally there, just no one has re-written the books yet. ZenCopain (talk) 06:23, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
In which case we say what's in the books. See WP:OR. Eluchil404 (talk) 06:37, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Book's information are only as good as the date they were made.ZenCopain (talk) 06:46, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
See also Annotated Constitution from GPO.
and that's why Washington is listed in history books as starting his presidency of the day he took oath, not the time of when it was set up.ZenCopain (talk) 06:23, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
  • As there is no source for Grant continuing past the end of his legal term (nor does the US Constitution allow it), and there is no legal requirement that one be sworn in or inaugurated before becoming president, therefore Hays started his term as per the Constitution on March 4th 1877, as say the history books. The law and the history books agree. --Bejnar (talk) 07:40, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
That GPO document says:
Formerly, the term of four years during which the President "shall hold office" was reckoned from March 4 of the alternate odd years beginning with 1789. This came about from the circumstance that under the act of September 13, 1788, of "the Old Congress," the first Wednesday in March, which was March 4, 1789, was fixed as the time for commencing proceedings under the Constitution. Although as a matter of fact Washington was not inaugurated until April 30 of that year, by an act approved March 1, 1792, it was provided that the presidential term should be reckoned from the fourth day of March next succeeding the date of election. And so things stood until the adoption of the Twentieth Amendment, by which the terms of President and Vice-President end at noon on the 20th of January.
I think the backdating of Washington's start of office seems to have been for the purposes of getting the changeover back to the intended date, and (perhaps crucially) the same time as the new Congress, rather than have an even longer lame duck period. Presumably it was easier to backdate a term than curtail on of four years. The reason Washington took office late in 1789 was because bad weather meant Congress lacked a quorum and so couldn't transact the business of receiving the electoral votes, accepting them and then, if needed, having the contingent House election. Because this was the first Congress under the new constitution there was no previous body to do all this. Similarly because this was the starting point, exact terms were not precise and nobody seems to have been thinking "Hey! In 219 years when people want to list the precise second when George became President what should they put?" Although this was at the time of a credit crisis nobody cared about the exact precision of who had power to do what. (Contrast to the modern era where exact precision exists and outgoing & incoming governments must co-operate, lest they have a rerun of the 1984 New Zealand constitutional crisis when a lame duck defeated Prime Minister refused to implement the immediate devaluation promised by the incoming-but-not-yet-in-office government, sparking a currency crisis.) Picking the inauguration date is as good as any for the special circumstances of 1789 - remember on the 4th of March Washington hadn't even been officially declared the winner of the election.
But after this lack of precision continued. There were several occasions when Presidents did not take the oath immediately, either because of Sabbatarian concerns or Veeps taking time to be found. John Tyler did not take the oath until the 6th of April 1841, even though Harrison died at 12:30 am on the 4th of April. But we have no problem dating Tyler as President from the 4th. Clearly having a fully sworn in President able to exercise full powers for the intermediate 60 hours was not the top priority (it wasn't as if a nuclear attack might suddenly come, needing someone in charge of the button), as demonstrated by the constitutional crisis over whether or not Tyler had become President. Timrollpickering (talk) 09:51, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Figuring the dates for presidential and congressional terms can be a bit iffy, but all the question occurs on the front end of the term. An outgoing president's term is not extended just because the new one has not taken the oath. Timrollpickering seems to have the right of it. Sure, Washington is dated from April 30, but his is a special case. -Rrius (talk) 21:07, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Actually it seems Hayes was sworn in before Grant's term expired. Because of the disputes over the electoral college votes and a filibuster in Congress it was not until the early hours of Friday March 2nd that Hayes was formally declared elected. Because the 4th was a Sunday the inauguration was not until Monday (and normally no-one cared about this bar the fancies of the Senate President Pro-temporare). However because of the contentious nature of this election, Grant and Secretary of State Hamilton Fish suggested a private swearing-in on Saturday 3rd to make sure that the Democrats didn't try to install Tilden on the sly. So it's clear that even Grant himself did not regard himself as President for an extra day. Hayes took the oath again on Monday 5th at the public ceremony. Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library: Frequently asked questions about the disputed election of 1876 This may be the origin of the practice of private swearing ins on Sundays. (And no, I don't know if William A. Wheeler was sworn in early but as he bemoaned no-one cared about the Veep!) Timrollpickering (talk) 01:52, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
The Twentieth Amendment wasn't ratified until January 23, 1933, nearly seventy years later. He would have to be sworn in in order to become president at all back then, which he didn't until the next day. case closed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:23, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
What makes you think that? The original Constitution says the President must take the oath before entering into the execution of his office. That presumes that the President is the President regardless of his having taken the oath. The restriction is that he cannot exercise the powers of the office until taking oath. -Rrius (talk) 09:42, 24 January 2009 (UTC)


LBJ's first term lasted a year and two months, his second term was a full one. He ran for a third term, won the New Hampshire primary, which was run by an authorized campaign committee. He also allowed his name to be on the ballot in Wisconsin and several other states, although he decided to use substitute "favorite sons" in Ohio and Florida. When he withrew from the race in march, it wasn't declining to run, it was withdrawing. He was going to lose Wisconsin big time. Ericl (talk) 14:35, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

This is potentially more convoluted than it looks...
From what I can recall, LBJ was almost the last incumbent President who didn't overtly seek renomination and actively campaign for it. In the 18th and 19th century there was a supposed belief that the Presidency shouldn't be held by a man who sought it but rather one who had been drafted to it, and whilst this was somewhat at odds with the reality of backroom negotiations the public image persisted for a long time (and even does to an extent today with the "I don't seek the office but will accept a draft" type statements that abound).
In particular sitting Presidents rarely campaigned, especially for their party's nomination, and it can be quite tricky to determine if an outgoing incumbent who wasn't renominated by his party had ever actually sought it - see for example the confusion about Grover Cleveland in 1896.
The emergence of primaries in the early 20th century started to erode this but you still had candidates running as write-ins or favoured sons or even officially being undecided and only assenting to their name being place before voters as a "draft" for various tactical reasons.
As well as LBJ in 1968, it's also unclear just how far a Truman bid went in 1952 before he made his announcement (which was after a defeat in New Hampshire). Similarly in 1964 Johnson was officially undecided about a second term until close to the convention despite the handful of primaries having already taken place. (Remember only some states had primaries and many delegates were not bound. As Humphrey's 1968 nomination showed, a candidate did not need to stand in any primaries to win. The post 1968 reforms have changed this dramatically.)
I think both Truman and LBJ were not actually on the ballot paper in their respective New Hampshire primaries but instead ran as write-ins. Possibly because of different rules in different states Johnson had consented to his name being on some other ballot papers per a draft, but he didn't actually campaign or make an announcement that he had made a decision one way or the other. Timrollpickering (talk) 14:58, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Truman was on the Ballot in 1952, while LBJ wasn't in 1968. McCarthy was the only one on the ballot. However, there was a formal write-in campaign, and LBJ had to consent in order to get on the ballot in Wisconsin. Had he not withdrawn from the race, (and won) he would have been president over NINE years. (talk) 22:56, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

22nd Amendment[edit]

At present, the article says this:

According to the [22nd Amendment], which was ratified in 1951, no President may serve longer than a decade

This is not exactly what the amendment says. The amendment says, in part:

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than one time.

The difference is that the amendment only speaks of being elected President. It says nothing about serving as Vice President (through election or appointment) and then becoming President through the death, resignation, or conviction of the current President, and nothing about doing this any number of times. Granted, this may seem like an impossible loophole, but, there's clearly a difference. (talk) 03:00, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

That's why it says "and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President". It clearly does apply to people who were vice president and succeed to the presidency, such as Ford and LBJ. If Ford had been elected in 1976 he would have been ineligible to run in 1980. Ratemonth (talk) 03:40, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I think IP's point is that a person could be elected VP and succeed to presidency over and over again, thereby serving as president for more than a decade, but without ever being elected president. -Rrius (talk) 04:52, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. The amendment says nothing about being President. It only speaks of being elected President. The article (as it is currently, and above) is clearly wrong. If Ford had been elected in 1976, he would have been eligible to run for Vice President in 1980, such as with Reagan, and then be President, had Reagan left office before his term expired. (talk) 13:20, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
More discussion on this topic is here: It is, at least, an unanswered question whether or not a person ineligible to be elected President is eligible to be elected Vice President, or to otherwise be in the line of succession. I'd interpret the text as indicating a difference between being elected and serving. But, at the least, it is an unclear and untested Constitutional issue. (talk) 03:34, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
There would seem to be other ways that more than ten years could be accumulated, though: a person might be elected Vice President to several different Presidents, and become President during the term each time, plus they might then have up to one term in which they themselves are elected President. OK, not very likely, but we're talking here about what's possible. I think the point is that the Amendment doesn't say "ten years" so we have no business to try and interpret the Amendment and its interaction with other parts of the Constitution. I've changed it to say only what the Amendment actually says, and added a "likely" to cover any technically possible but extremely implausible way for someone to surpass FDR in the future. mooncow 12:01, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
It would also seem to be legal for a retired, two-term President to run for a seat in the House of Representatives from where he resided. He could then be elected Speaker of the House and become second in the line of succession. (And of course he could get there, with diminishing likelihood, via Senate pro-tem or a cabinet post.) WHPratt (talk) 17:54, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
I usually write "legal but unlikely" to summarize some of the above scenarios. Carlm0404 (talk) 19:26, 20 June 2020 (UTC)

Grand Total[edit]

Not sure if this could be added to the list (of if we would want to) but if the list is accurate then the total days served by all presidents plus the days the USA was without a president (from the Declaration of Independence to the day when George Washington started his first term) should equal the total number of days the USA has existed.Juve2000 (talk) 03:19, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Truman - clarifcation needed or just plain wrong?[edit]

Although eligible for a third term under terms of the 22nd Amendment, as it was ratified during his term, did not seek reelection.

If the 22nd Amendment was ratified (ie applicable) as of 1952, then he WASN'T eligible for a third term. Was he actually eligible for a third term because it didn't come into force yet? It sounds like he was eligible UNDER THE 22nd Amendment, when in fact he was eligible because the 22nd Amendment didn't apply yet. Also, if he was on the ballot in 1952, presumably "did not seek reelection" is also wrong. Silas Maxfield (talk) 10:45, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

The amendment does not apply to Truman. It makes that very clear: "But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress" Ratemonth (talk) 14:18, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

List broken[edit]

When you click on the number of days served to try and list the Presidents by length of term, it appears out of order. William Harrison should be first, with the shortest term, but he's not. Arrange the list from longest to shortest, shortest to longest, and it's out of order. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:58, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Now I see what you mean. The length of days button isn't working right. Ratemonth (talk) 23:52, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
This should be fixed now. I've added explicit data sort types so that it treats the numbers like numbers and the words like words. Did a default get changed? Eluchil404 (talk) 21:51, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
I think it may have been the use of {{age in days nts}}. This template isn't compatible with plain numbers since it adds a hidden sort key. The sort key isn't necessary, though, if all the cells in the column are numbers. Jimp 21:07, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

biden and obama aren't matching up[edit]

On this page Obama has 2,724 days while on Biden right now has 2,726 days. They were sworn in the same day, they've served the exact same time. Why is Biden showing 2 more days than Obama? Earthscent (talk) 18:58, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Never mind, I've set Obama's counting to match Biden's (UTC instead of TODAY). Earthscent (talk) 19:04, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

Acting Presidents[edit]

What about the three instances of assumed powers and duties as Acting President under the 25th Amendment? (Of note, all three were due to colonoscopies or colon surgery.)—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:13, 18 July 2016

Such instances do not change who is POTUS. A Vice President does not take the presidential oath of office when becoming Acting President. Being Acting President is not the same as being President. An Acting President merely exercises the powers and duties of the President, without actually holding the office of President. Drdpw (talk) 20:20, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Proposed Deletion[edit]

I have removed the WP:PROD tag which suggested that this article should be deleted as an unnecessary duplicate of List of presidents of the United States. I did this mostly on the basis that this article is sufficiently long-standing and popular that it should not be deleted without a discussion. On the merits I favor keeping this a separate list, though a merge is certainly possible. There is no obvious way to sort the main list by length of service and it does not include things like the length of served time in days. Admittedly, this is trivia, but as long as it reflects coverage in reliable sources there is no policy based reason to keep it out of Wikipedia. Eluchil404 (talk) 09:39, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

This isn't the same thing as it deals with length of term of office and not the individual presidents by when they served...Deleting this would make the presidential section of wikipedia less informative and would weaken the case for Wikipedia all together. I strongly reject to this Matthurricane (talk) 00:49, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

I concur with Matthurricane's opinion. If anyone wants to draw up a comparison of Presidents by their lengths of office, this compilation would be much easier to use that going through a list of Presidents listing them by the order in which they assumed their position. DanielC46 (talk) 22:34, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

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Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:List of Vice Presidents of the United States which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 23:02, 21 May 2018 (UTC)


I just think it makes more sense for it to say "assassinated" to distinguish, albeit in a very short commentary, the difference. Some presidents died in office naturally, some were assassinated, I think it is important to make that distinction. Plus it isn't that big of a deal to change it. Zdawg1029 (talk) 18:47, 13 April 2020 (UTC)

The way it says it now is fine by me. Zdawg1029 (talk) 18:48, 13 April 2020 (UTC)

Denoting Donald Trump's "Number of terms"[edit]

At this edit on April 24, 2020 I again reverted the insertion by another editor of "Serving incumbent term" into the table to denote Donald Trump's "Number of terms", and restored the long-standing statement "Serving first term". Once again, however, that editor has reverted my revert. Is it correct/accurate to state in the table that Donald Trump is currently serving his first term? Drdpw (talk) 04:26, 25 April 2020 (UTC)

I've changed it to "currently serving", for now. It can be changed, if Trump is still president after January 20, 2021. GoodDay (talk) 22:08, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
"First" is infinitely better than "incumbent". Were he to be re-elected, we would need to note then that he was serving his second term, and "incumbent term" would be even less helpful. --Golbez (talk) 18:53, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
I just scrolled through the article's history to see how Obama was listed in April 2012 and it just said Incumbent in bold. Here's the link: [1]. How about that? Though personally I think "Currently serving" as it says now accomplishes the same thing. Axedel (talk) 00:12, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Incumbent would be better, its essentially "currently serving" summarized. MyPreferredUsernameWasTaken (talk) 12:55, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
"Incumbent" is succinct and consistent with our past practice. --Coemgenus (talk) 20:38, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Note: from January 20, 2017 until dates were added to the Order of presidency column on December 9, 2017, the Number of terms column—at the time labeled "General details"—stated "Incumbent, serving his first term of office". From then until just recently the column stated "Serving first term". Additionally, since December 9, 2017, the Order of presidency column has stated "45th • January 20, 2017 – Incumbent". Drdpw (talk) 00:13, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
If Wikipedia had been around during the presidency of Jimmy Carter would this page have listed him as "serving his first term"? I hope not, because it'd be silly. "First" definitely implies there will be a second. That's a clear crystal ball violation. Axedel (talk) 03:15, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
First term remains first term even if that President ends up never getting another term, and "first" does not necessarily mean there would be a subsequent term. As is the case with courses at a school, it should be OK to note a term as being in progress as opposed to having been completed. Carlm0404 (talk) 19:22, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
Indeed, newly/recently elected officials are commonly referred to by the media and in general discourse as “serving their (his or her) first term”. That said, let's leave the issue to rest for now; we can discuss it again in 6½ months if DT is not going to be inaugurated to a second term on 1/20/2021. Drdpw (talk) 00:39, 23 June 2020 (UTC)