The office of the President of the United States has long been considered a sacred institution. As American citizens, we often try to elect the best candidates for the job. There have been several times in recent history, though, that we have elected shysters, or lawyers who use questionable methods.
Perhaps the most notable of these shysters was Richard Nixon. Nixon was a graduate of Duke Law School, but he is not remembered for his law career or even his presidential legacy. He is remembered best for the Watergate scandal. Not only did he order the break-in of the Watergate hotel, his administration also tried to cover up those actions. Nixon resigned in disgrace rather than going through an impeachment.
Gerald Ford, a graduate of Yale Law School, became instantly unpopular when he took over the Presidency. His first act in the Office of the President was to pardon Richard Nixon, who was likely going to stand trial for the Watergate scandal.
Bill Clinton was a graduate of Yale Law School. His Presidency was marked by his impeachment proceedings during which he was investigated for perjury and obstruction of justice. Clinton admitted an improper sexual relationship with an intern and charges were dropped after 21 days.
Barack Obama was a graduate of Harvard Law School. His Presidency has been marked by numerous legally questionable actions, including the swapping of Bowe Bergdahl and sending troops to Libya without Congressional Approval. He has also delayed implementation of The Affordable Care Act, delayed tax implications, and given subsidies to states that didn’t yet have their exchanges set up.
Like it or not, lawyers are held to a higher standard than the general public. When we elect them President, we expect a higher level of conduct than we would from a President without a law degree. Check out this infographic for more.