What Life Is Like For an Ex-President

“There is nothing
more pathetic in life than a former president.” These words, and
variations of them, authored by former
President John Quincy Adams show up in just about every
major article on the subject. But if you pay any
attention to the news, you’ll see that’s
probably not the case. Today, we’re exploring
what life is really like for an ex-president. Before we get started, we have
an executive order for you to subscribe to the
channel and let us know who your favorite president is. Ladies and gentlemen,
the ex-Presidents of the United States. Even if you were
young and vigorous before your
presidency, by now, you feel like you’re in danger of
collapsing into a pile of dust. The stress that transforms a
president is a force of nature. Lucky for you,
there’s really no need to recover from it to survive. Thanks to the 1958
Former Presidents Act, the US pays ex-presidents
a lifetime pension. In 1958, it was
$25,000 a year, which works out to about $218,000
a year in 2019 money. Today, they actually
get a little less. The pension of an ex-president
with a clean discharge from office is based on the
salary of an active cabinet member– $210,700. A healthy sum, especially
compared with what the widow of an ex-president gets– a paltry $20,000. Now, check this out. Those who make, let’s
say, a less glorious exit from office– tricky Dick Nixon, for example– still have a shot at that fat
pension, but only if they quit before they could be
impeached for the crimes. Provided they do
resign in time, they’ll still get $210,700 every
year until they die, which won’t be for some time if
they put their free health care and paid travel to good use. It doesn’t matter what they did
or didn’t do to lose their job, because their new
job is to save face, and Uncle Sam is happy to
let taxpayers foot the bill. Bless his tiny little beard. It’s not all endless money and
rainbow golf at Camp David. Being president
means you never ever, ever get to be alone
ever, ever again, not even when you’re
done being president. 2012 saw the passage
of a law reversing 1994’s 10-year limit on
Secret Service protection for former presidents. As of 2013, the
Secret Service is tasked with watching
over every ex-president until death do them part. As with the pension,
this protection does not extend to the family. Children are inexplicably
left on their own after they hit 16 and begin
driving places on their own for the first time in
their lives, out in public, unescorted, bearing the
surname of someone who still merits an armed guard at 90. First ladies are punished
with the removal of all rights to protection should they
divorce and remarriage, regardless of how much the
general public hates them or how their presidential
partner treated them. This is the very
definition of a catch-22. Shall we count the number
of presidential divorcees? No? Bad luck, Melania. You’re stuck with him. Although there is that
$20,000 to look forward to. What with the pension,
the elite security detail, and more things that seem
just a little unfair in this economy, or any other,
a library of your own is a luxury this country
can ill-afford, right? Actually, this one makes
more sense than the rest, but it requires a
bit of background. FDR, known for applying
a veritable alphabet soup to reforms to
American law books, arranged for a
library-slash-museum to archive has many, many, many records. We at Weird History have
benefited quite a lot from that tradition. Thanks, Frank. Public officials used to dump
their old correspondences and junk into boxes and
shove them into attics, like good, sane people. This deviation in the normalcy
on the part of politicians is a real heartbreaker
for historians. George Washington’s
nephew reported that his uncle’s papers
were very extensively mutilated by rats and
otherwise injured by damp. The world may never know
what weird history was lost. President Truman
spent a great deal of time maintaining his library
after departing the Oval Office, which was
a very decent thing to do considering how much time
and effort those places demand. There was a very good incentive
on the part of the president to keep his notes in good
order, as we’ll see next. Let’s face it. It takes a very
special kind of person to not only envision
him or herself as commander-in-chief of a nation
over 300 million strong, decide to go through with
it, campaign for office, win that office, and
stay in that office for four to eight years without
getting into serious trouble. Most of us are not that person. A lot of us would
like to know what it’s like to be that person. Decision Points,
George W. Bush’s book, sold 1.5 million copies
and earned him $7 million. Bill Clinton got a $15
million dollar advance for his book, My Life,
which sold over 2 and 1/4 million copies and won a
Grammy in its audio book form, narrated by Clinton himself. By 2017, the Obamas had
already received $65 million in advances for their books. Jimmy Carter, in true
Jimmy Carter fashion, wrote not one or
two but 14 books. He was flat broke when he
got out of office, according to historian James Thurber. If you’ve been all judgey
about ex-presidents and their ranches, hold
your horses for a minute. You’d probably run off
to live like a cowboy, too, if the government
took your car keys. When your term is
up, your driving days are done, unless you have, say,
a big ranch out in the country where you can make
some rooster tails and donuts in the backyard
until your heart gives out. If you’re wondering how
ex-presys get around off private property,
look no further than the guys in the
happy, snappy black suits. That’s right. The Secret Service
doesn’t just hang around waiting for bad guys. They also become your
private, armed chauffeurs for the rest of your life. Too bad no one told
poor old Joe Biden. “That there are a lot of
reasons to run for president,” he said, in typical
Biden fashion, “but there’s one
overwhelming reason not to run for president. I like to get that
Corvette Z06 from zero to 60 in 3.4 seconds.” Oh, Joe. Someone has to tell him. Anyway, we’re really
very OK with this rule. Keep those presidents, vice
or otherwise, off our streets. At 77, the current model
is already too doddy to drive as it is. This one’s a no-brainer. Obviously, a guy
who’s spent the better part of the last decade
getting death threats is not going to check his own
mail, especially when he’s no longer sitting on four
floors of the White House, which brings us back to
the men in black. They drive. They sort mail. They do everything that
for an average Joe, as opposed to Biden,
Joe, is routine. But never confuse routine
for boring in this field. The Secret Service’s
intercepted pipe bombs meant for the Clintons, the
Obamas, and other big figures in recent years at the
off-site facilities used to sort the
ex-presidential mail. A statement from
the Secret Service made October 24, 2018
concerning the mail– “The packages were immediately
identified during routine mail screening procedures as
potential explosive devices and were appropriately
handled as such. Both packages were
intercepted prior to being delivered to
their intended location.” In the olden days
before 1958, when a man could do a day’s
work for a day’s pay, presidents left the
White House with whatever they had when they moved in. No fat pension, no guaranteed
book advance deals, just a suit and the best resume
America can give. And some of them used it. We mentioned before that Harry
Truman put in a lot of hours at his own library in
Independence, Missouri. What we didn’t tell you was
that he had an office there where he worked for 19 years. He’d had enough excitement
for one lifetime. It’s not a shocker
that he’d spend the rest of his life
working in a library. Grover Cleveland, not having
bombed even one country during his non-consecutive
presidential terms, decided to play chicken
with the stock market. George Washington turned
down an opportunity to be dictator for life and
set himself up in style, opening a whiskey
distillery at Mount Vernon. Maybe that’s how his
papers got all soggy. Life is strange for
an ex-president. After the most incredible
power trip available is over, you have to go and
live in a bubble for the rest of your
days, surrounded by people who won’t let you
drive, open your own mail, go anywhere on your own, or say
whatever you want on Twitter. Not a lot of people
can relate to that. Only other
ex-presidents, really. So it comes as no surprise that
many former commander-in-chiefs and their former first families
are friendly with one another, even if they come from
different parties. George W. Bush, for
example, referred to Bill Clinton as his brother
from another mother in 2017. On top of the pension, the
health care, bodyguards, and paid official travel, the
government reserves an annual $150,000 budget for an
ex-president to spend on their staff for
the first 30 months– that’s 2 and 1/2 years– of
their retirement, after which they kick in $96,000 a year
because apparently they need that, too. If that wasn’t excessive
enough, every office space is comped courtesy
of us, the taxpayers. Judging by the current
president’s preferences and predilections,
we can reasonably expect the furnishings and
staff of his future office to be a solid gold fountain
filled with blondes. Former presidents
can, and often do, choose to have a state funeral. All well and good. It’s as nice a funeral
as anyone could ask for– five whole days of
aircraft flyovers, gun fire salutes, and parades,
and of course, flags remain lowered
across the country, even if we didn’t like you. It’s a lot to plan
for, and the presys spend an extraordinary amount
of time doing the planning. For Richard Nixon, it was a
chance to die with dignity. He chose to opt out and be
buried quietly in his library, as befits a disgraced
ex-president who continued to draw a tax-funded
paycheck until his death. Not bad, Dick, not bad. Considering how much of
their job is talking, it seems a little
incredible that a present can do the bulk of
the speechmaking after the job is done. But it’s true. Many speeches given by those who
have held that high office are given outside that office. Take Bill Clinton. He earned a whopping
$104.9 million from 542 speeches between
January 2001 and January 2013. “I’ve never had any money until
I got out of the White House,” he told Wolf Blitzer in 2010,
“but I’ve done reasonably well since then.” The Former Presidents
Act is at it again. We’ve touched on
the travel budget, and now we’ll tell you
just how things stand. Buckle up. Each and every ex-president is
entitled to up to $1 million in security and travel
expenses each daggone year, with an additional half
mil for his spouse. The only catch is
barely even a catch. They must be traveling as
officials of the United States government, and this stipulation
came 10 years after the FPA was put into effect. You’ve ruled a first-world
country for the last four to eight years of your life. And you come to the
question, what next? Where do you go from the top? And if you’re unpopular,
is there a chance to make people like you again? Philanthropy, the Nobel Prize. That’s the golden
ticket to immortality, the eternal love of the
people, and a better tomorrow. Or it backfires horribly and
turns into just more politics and a lot of comedy
sketches, as Al Gore might be able to tell you. Jimmy Carter founded
The Carter Center to protect election integrity
in democratic nations, mediate diplomatic
disputes, fight disease, and other awesome things. Or this– he justifiably
won the 2002 Nobel Prize. Michael Duffy, co-author
of The Presidents Club, said of Carter’s
philanthropic work, “He’s made it difficult for
absolutely everyone who’s come after him because
who can keep up?” Who, indeed. Who’s even trying,
except Michelle Obama? If there’s one thing
we’ve learned today, it’s that an ex-president’s
life follows him. After the choices he made, it’s
perhaps not surprising that when Harry Truman
left the White House, he went straight to
his mother-in-law’s. And dear, sweet,
gentle Jimmy Carter got a sensible two-bedroom
house in Georgia. Ronald Reagan, on
the other hand, returned to his
7,000-square-foot Bel Air mansion. The Obamas and Clintons settled
down in some lavish lodgings, as well. Health care is a
bit more confusing. Jimmy Carter gets
his health benefits from Emery College, where
he was once a teacher, because he wasn’t a
government employee for the minimum of
five years requisite to gain health care benefits. But the bloated budget of the
FPA allows for health care. What gives? It’s health care, so of
course it’s got to be archaic. All former presidents
and their spouses, widows, and children under
18 are entitled to treatment in military hospitals
free of charge. They can also enroll in
private health insurance plans at their own expense,
if they want more than the occasional Motrin
and they can afford it. Ex-presidents are
getting wealthier, between the pension,
the speeches, the books, and the little odds and ends we
didn’t have time to deal with. And the only way to live and
struggle like regular folk is to choose to do so. Jimmy certainly
did, and we hope he gets a little more love
for it because it was one heck of a choice to make. So what do you think
of an ex-president’s post-presidential life? Let us know in our comments
below, and while you’re at it, check out some of these other
videos from our Weird History.

Comments 100

  • What do you think was the greatest presidential achievement?

  • Living like kings off the back of the stupid taxpayers.

  • So far, every President over the last two decades has been guilty of international war crimes and should be turned over to a legitimate tribunal for prosecution. By using American taxpayer dollars and troops to perpetuate a political ponzi scheme to enhance the profits of the international elite rich, they have caused irreparable damage to our economy, maimed or killed thousands, and diverted funds from US infrastructure repair and maintenance…

  • لا اله الاالله محمد رسول الله

  • Trump is pretty well set, for when he leaves office in 2024

  • My favorite is Ronald Wilson Reagan former president although my favorite is Donald trump

  • 📚📕📗📘📙📓📔📒📖🔍
    I have job security. I work in the facilities dept. at Denver Public Library 🏦.If I become President, serve my term & retire, I can maintain my own Presidential library 🚽🔨🔩🔧🔌🔅💡🔆

  • Every US president has served America well, including Trump 🇺🇸

  • Calvin Coolidge is the greatest president of the 20th century.

  • Ronald Reagan. Read Thank You, Ronald Reagan by William J. Bennett.

  • Nice passive aggressive comments about the current president. If you don’t like him then just say it lol.

  • some shouldn't have a life period.

  • Isn't this announcer the guy from cats 101/dogs 101?

  • Trumps kids are in big trouble

  • I wish you had mentioned what John Quincy Adams had done after his presidency. He served in the House of Representatives for 17 years after the end of his Presidency. He served until his death.

  • More like the ex-girlfriends of the US

  • My favorite president is Dubyah

  • Trump 2016 #MAGA, Trump 2020 #KAG

  • Theodore Roosevelt is my favorite president. cool video.

  • https://youtu.be/Ead6hGgbAT4

  • Trump will be going to prison . No Trump library will be built. He doesn’t read. And they wouldn’t want all his crooked dealing in there.

  • Oh shit! Now we know how we get all these pics of Obama eating icecream from!!! He's never left alone by the secret service!!!!

  • Omg!!! I don’t see ourselves paying for trump!!

  • Not one them killers are my favorite

  • Jimmy Carter is the best president

  • FDR is my favorite

  • George Bush barrack Obama

  • Donald Trump dosnt seem to bad. If he's not a racist

  • Donald Trump help weed legalisation in Australia

  • Adderall aswell etc please, thankyou

  • One of my favorite presidents was Ronald Reagan .the rest are
    nothing, but low life shit for brains. Now finally we have a great great president 👑 Donald J Trump…ps. Obama was never the American president. he was a illegal alien Kenyon from Africa..🖕

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  • Very interesting God bless America

  • Trump's library will be full of colouring books

  • Michelle Obama and George W Bush and their mints 🙂

  • Sounds like Clinton and Obama laundered money through book sales. Anybody ever bought one of their books?

  • Most of the American former presidents are shithole

  • Again. Clinton giving speeches = money laundering.

  • Obama is my favourite president

  • You nasty crooks?

    Exodus 3 New International Version (NIV)

    Moses and the Burning Bush

    January 20-2009 / 2001

    When was Merci’s Substance verified in SINIA hospital huh?

    Wisdom 5 MERCY
    11 Or like a bird flying through the air — leaving no proof of its passing; it whips the light air with the stroke of its pinions, tears it apart in its whirring rush, drives its way onward with sweeping wing, and afterwards no sign is seen of its passage.

    In whose House is Ishmael?

    In Abraham’s HOUSE or PHARAOH’s

    In whose slavery is MERCY and why Daniel is bound till 2021 with prince of Persia?

    Genesis 40:11 – Galatians 4:1 – Daniel 10:13

    Abraham’s or Pharaoh’s

    Revelation 9:15-17


    Revelation 11:15-18

    Amos 8:14

  • so what.

  • 200000? Wtf

  • Veep taught me everything I needed to know about the life of a former president

  • What life is like for an Ex-con aka George Bush and Barak Obama

  • Obama just eats hot dogs Pizza & Walnut sauce everyday🍥🍕

  • Another reason to impeach Trump, or hope he dies before 2020.

  • The rulers worth nothing costs the most money

  • they are swimming in money. you can't go wrong with that.

  • Obozo the mentally retarded Clown should get none of that and be made to pay back what he was paid when he was Resident.
    He Never did the job of President.
    All that money is still being wasted on and by Him and his family. Such a DAMN Shame!!!

  • I wonder how many have Loss there pension. after they were out of Office. someone should do a video about that. cause i know all the One's that Did very evil things to other's & very wrong these that were not good 4 OUR Country should never have got one after being out of OFFICE.. Why should us America TAX PAYER's that work there's azz off & took care of there family first pay 4 them to have a Nice RICH happy Retirement when they do not Deserve it. MAN FUCK THAT BULL SHIT> just think about all the hard working people that still can't do everything they want to do 4 there Love one's cause there tax money is being spent on something that it should not be & the Tax payer's should have the money back to spend it to take care of there own family. that just as bad as the tax payer's paying 4 a EVIL PERSON TO live In PRISON. when they should just get a bullet to the head 4 what they did to someone else. like all those RAPIST's & other VERY EVIL SCUM BAG's . Stop wasting THE AMERICA TAX's payer's on stuff so then u will have more money to take care of what really needs to be taking care of.. & help & fix what really needs to be done.

  • Yeah, privileges for life must suck…

  • What a waste of taxpayer dollars! If I'm done with my job, I'm done. If I am considered a liability, then take a cyanide pill. done.

  • what about the first and the last .never forget who is the first and last and has the keys to our destiny.before everything was ,he is .Love ya all peace.😇.

  • screw almost all politicians

  • Why the hell did this video feel like 50 minutes

  • Hey Tom, Climate Change is a fraud.

  • You should’ve specified it’s about U.S. presidents

  • President Trump …is my favorite President….

  • I'm going to keep my mouth shut this time.

  • buthcers of the world and human kind!!!

  • come to bulgaria please thers vodka and rakija

  • Boring n I don't care especially about the bushes boo damn drug dealers

  • Whether it happens in 2021, or 2025, somehow, I don't think any of the past presidents in their right minds, would ever consider being in the same room with, or even less so, becoming friends with, the scumbag we have in power now. Carter, Bush, Clinton, W, and Obama can all get along, even though while in office, some couldn't be more opposite. Reagan never did really get the chance to hang out with Nixon, Ford and Carter, as by the end of his second term, the "transmission" in the brain was slipping too many times. His mind quickly developed into full, pedal to the metal, fledged Alzheimer's. Really a pathetic end. Trump in retirement will be as if Adolf Hitler willingly handed over power to a successor and retired. Should be an interesting story, and much material for comedians, historians, book authors, and filmmakers.

  • well bill Clinton has been up to some sketchy things!!

  • I don't know how I feel about all of this……..

  • Nowadays our presidents are such piss poor leaders during their time in office they definitely need that SS protection for life. Lots of people walking around in the world who would definitely punch them in the face if they encounter one on the street.

  • In the homes of the ex-Presidents, especially mansions, they'd probably want souvenirs of certain White House items, like copies of certain paintings and ornaments.

  • I would have liked this video if it werent for the anti trump agenda. Let the people decide if they like a president or not. Just make the video without bias for Gods sake!

  • Although I am Danish and live in my country, I cried when Kennedy was shot. I was 11 years old and gathered everything I could get hold of about him. To me, he was the man who could make a difference. Today, Americans choose such a man as Trump!
    What happened to that nation?

  • Donald Trump is all good folks favorite president

  • Im all late…but GOOD OL ABE our 16th prez iz MY favorite he was pritty HONEST and he FREED THE SLAVEZ

  • Banging kids on airplanes and islands apparently..
    But now we'll never know?

  • IN MY OPINION: Teddy Roosevelt is coolest.
    Lincoln is the best.
    Obama is the best of my lifetime.

  • JFK

  • Hey, don't ex-presidents get to surf, skydive and rob banks without going to jail due to executive privilege?

  • Wow I enjoyed this video lots of information


  • Maralmalvetentunelenkahetkomendatverekanderenmencinvelhel

  • Almalhetprezidecidattunelachterkomennojheljuli

  • Varentunalokcheldekachretkomennojhelministervilenprime

  • Mardemokracenvilen

  • Obama is just another rich Ni993r and Bush is just another rich cracker .

  • Donald Trump.

  • Plural of Commander in Chief is Commanders in Chief, not Chiefs. Just an FYI

  • I bet Trump does not take any unnecessary money for things when he is out in 2024. He has never been in it for the money, he is in it for the people.

  • The narrator kinda sounds like Steve Colbert 😄

  • While free health care is overlooked these people take your money.

  • With the multi millionaire lifestyle aside being a former president has to be a little depressing you go from being the most powerful man in the entire world for 4 or 8 years to being a former most powerful man in the entire world it probably has the same sting as being a world-renowned rock and roll artists that is now washed up and no one's buying your albums you're still Rich you still have nice things but nobody really cares about you anymore and just like a old former Rockstar instead of playing sold out arenas you're now playing some hole in the wall venue it just like a president giving the state of a union on national TV to everybody former president is reduced to speaking at colleges and anybody who will have him

  • If Melania actually ever divorce Trump she would get so much money in the divorce she can hire her own private security hell she probably already had her own private security before she was first lady

  • Wow, definitely not biased

  • Aren’t all of America’s presidents related by blood in one way or another?

  • Can an ex president serve in the army

  • I heard Trump doesn't cash his check.

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt

  • Look at that group

  • George Washington is the best, all the ones still alive are war criminals

  • Quaid-e-Azam

  • My favorite not pictured there was Ronald Reagon. Very tough and other countries was afraid of him. THose other ones in the pick I dont give a damn rats ass about!!

  • Wonderful video. One thing that's coming up you didn't mention. The 'Angel' 747 aeroplanes better known as 'Air Force One', (when the president is on board), are being replaced. So, that means that 2008/2009 are available to be called a presidents Air force one. Example, 2006 is known as 'Kennedy's Air force one. 2007 is Reagan's Air force one. So whom of the the presidents since 1990 is worthy for this honour when the new aeroplanes take over. An interesting debate for a future' Weird history 'to look into. Once again. Great video. Keep up the good work. 🇺🇲🇬🇧

  • 10:55 I knew that song…

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