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Q: How can a Council of Former Presidents be created? ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: How can a Council of Former Presidents be created?
Category: Relationships and Society > Politics
Asked by: augusta-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 24 Dec 2004 07:42 PST
Expires: 23 Jan 2005 07:42 PST
Question ID: 446822
A good number of living ex U.S. Presidents is usually always around.
They represent an invaluable source of knowledge and advice for the
currently serving president. This resource is for the most part
untapped (expect maybe in the case of G.H.W.B and G.W.B.)

I want for there to exist a Council of Presidential Advisors made up
of all the living ex-presidents. The currently serving president will
be able to easily and discreetly consult the council for information,
advice, opinions, etc...

One important factor would be preventing the serving president for
losing face for having consulted the council. (Many of its members
will be of the opposing political party.) So discretion is vital.

My question:
How can we go from this presentation of the idea to the actual
creation of this council?
Subject: Re: How can a Council of Former Presidents be created?
Answered By: mwalcoff-ga on 24 Dec 2004 08:11 PST
Rated:3 out of 5 stars

Well, first of all, you would need to get the agreement of the
presidents themselves. You can contact them at:

President Gerald Ford
The Honorable Gerald Ford
P.O. Box 927
Rancho Mirage CA 92270
tel: (1) 714-324-1763
President Jimmy Carter
The Honorable Jimmy Carter
The Carter Center
One Copenhill
453 Freedom Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30307
tel: (1) 404-331-3900

President George Bush
The Honorable George Bush
10000 Memorial Drive, Ste. 900
Houston TX 77024
tel: (1) 713-686-1188
President Bill Clinton
The Honorable William J. Clinton
55 W. 125th Street, 14th Floor
New York NY 10027
tel: (1) 212-348-8882
fax: (1) 212-348-9245 

Source: U.S. Embassy, London, "Contacting Former Presidents,"

The next question is how to get your council funded. There are three
possibilities: 1) from private sources; 2) from presidential
discretion in the Executive Office of the President; or 3) from

To suggest option 2, you would have to write to the White House itself at:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

For option 3, you're best off writing your members of Congress. You
can find your members of Congress and their addresses at

I hope this answer meets your needs. If not, please request clarification.

search strategy:
gerald ford contacting

my member Congress

Request for Answer Clarification by augusta-ga on 24 Dec 2004 08:28 PST
Thanks for your prompt and data-packed answer.

One problem that would have to be addressed is credibility. A
low-on-the-totem-pole Canadian such as me has little persuasive power
with the big-wigs that would have to support this to make it happen.
How can I resolve this problem?

Should I pitch the idea to organizations that do have this credibility
and get them to push for it?

Clarification of Answer by mwalcoff-ga on 24 Dec 2004 08:34 PST
There's no right answer to that question, but I think the impetus
behind any voluntary association must come from the members
themselves. Someone would have to convince the ex-presidents to give
up some golf and speaking tours to take part in this. I would try
starting with them.

Request for Answer Clarification by augusta-ga on 09 Jan 2005 23:27 PST
So if I filter out all the added-on data, the answer you put forward
is a simple a 2-step process:

1. Get the agreement of the presidents.
2. Get the council funded.

I really don't think that this simple 2 step process is enough of a
strategy to actually lead to the formation of this council. It is
hihgly unlikely that simply contacting the presidents through the
channels you've suggested will lead to getting their agreement. How
does one go about getting their agreement? This is an important (and I
think answerable) element of the question.

Clarification of Answer by mwalcoff-ga on 11 Jan 2005 15:09 PST

Please see the Google Answers Pricing Guidelines at:

Trying to answer your follow-up question would require lengthy
research into the personalities of the former presidents, human
psychology or other factors.
augusta-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
Quality of answer commensurate with price offered.

Subject: Re: How can a Council of Former Presidents be created?
From: ga1970-ga on 25 Dec 2004 18:13 PST
Such a council exists in Ireland, to advise the President on the
constitutionality of legislation at his/her request, comprising of the
former Presidents and other members as follows:

The Prime Minister (Taoiseach), the Deputy Prime Minister (Tánaiste),
the Chief Justice, the President of the High Court, the Chairmen of
both houses of Parliament, the Attorney General.

The former Presidents, the former Prime Ministers, the former Chief Justices,
the former Presidents of the Executive Council of Saorstát Éireann.

And up to 7 other persons appointed by the President.

(NOTE: The office of President of the Executice Council of Saorstát
Éireann no longer exists, and there are no surviving former holders of
this office)

This link gives the names of the members of the current Council of State,
including the two surviving ex-presidents, Patrick Hillery and Mary Robinson:

President McAleese called a meeting of the Council of State in the
past week to discuss a proposed new law. This was the fourth time that
she has summoned the Council of State (in over 7 years in office so

Article 31 of Bunreacht na hÉireann / Constitution of Ireland follows:
"1. There shall be a Council of State to aid and counsel the President
on all matters on which the President may consult the said Council in
relation to the exercise and performance by him of such of his powers
and functions as are by this Constitution expressed to be exercisable
and performable after consultation with the Council of State, and to
exercise such other functions as are conferred on the said Council by
this Constitution.
2. The Council of State shall consist of the following members: 
i. As ex-officio members: the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, the Chief
Justice, the President of the High Court, the Chairman of Dáil
Éireann, the Chairman of Seanad Éireann, and the Attorney General.
ii. Every person able and willing to act as a member of the Council of
State who shall have held the office of President, or the office of
Taoiseach, or the office of Chief Justice, or the office of President
of the Executive Council of Saorstát Éireann.
iii. Such other persons, if any, as may be appointed by the President
under this Article to be members of the Council of State.
3. The President may at any time and from time to time by warrant
under his hand and Seal appoint such other persons as, in his absolute
discretion, he may think fit, to be members of the Council of State,
but not more than seven persons so appointed shall be members of the
Council of State at the same time.
4. Every member of the Council of State shall at the first meeting
thereof which he attends as a member take and subscribe a declaration
in the following form:
"In the presence of Almighty God I,          , do solemnly and
sincerely promise and declare that I will faithfully and
conscientiously fulfil my duties as a member of the Council of State."
5. Every member of the Council of State appointed by the President,
unless he dies, resigns, becomes permanently incapacitated, or is
removed from office, shall hold office until the successor of the
President by whom he was appointed shall have entered upon his office.
6. Any member of the Council of State appointed by the President may
resign from office by placing his resignation in the hands of the
7. The President may, for reasons which to him seem sufficient, by an
order under his hand and Seal, terminate the appointment of any member
of the Council of State appointed by him.
8. Meetings of the Council of State may be convened by the President
at such times and places as he shall determine."

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