Rules Former Presidents Have To Follow



Being president of the United States is one of the most coveted jobs in the country, but one thing no one tells you is that the rules don’t stop when the job is over. Just because you were once the commander-in-chief doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. Here are some of the rules that former presidents must follow after leaving office.

 

FORMER PRESIDENTS AREN’T ALLOWED TO DRIVE
Once a president's term is over, they can never drive a car on an open road again. The reason is because of the lifetime Secret Service detail that all ex-presidents get. After all, one of the least safe places you can be is on the road, and that's just under normal circumstances. Add in that ex-presidents are always a target, and things get even hairier. So, to ensure their safety, they're not allowed to hit the road, unless their on their own private property.

FORMER PRESIDENTS STILL HAVE TO READ NATIONAL SECURITY BRIEFINGS
You would think former presidents would no longer need to be bothered about such things, since they're retired from the job and are now private citizens, but that’s not true. They continue to receive national security updates for the rest of their lives — not necessarily because they're expected to actively do anything about them, but just in case they have advice they can offer the current administration or if they get asked about the situation by the press. Even if being president isn't their job anymore, they still need constant updates about what's going on.

RETIRED PRESIDENTS MUST ESTABLISH A PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY
Have you ever noticed that everyone who serves as president gets a library named after them when they leave office? There's a good reason for this — it's a law. The 1955 Presidential Libraries Act established that each president would oversee the creation of a library in their name. Presidential libraries contain every word a president has written in office (minus any classified materials, of course), even the stuff that may not be so good, such as Bill Clinton's library in Little Rock, Arkansas, which features information about his impeachment scandal.

FORMER PRESIDENTS MUST HAVE THEIR CALLS AND TECH USAGE MONITORED
The Secret Service has sweeping jurisdiction over keeping former presidents safe, whether that’s from threatening phone calls, suspicious tweets, or anything in-between. Routinely monitoring a former president’s communications is an invasive but necessary activity to ensure the security of those they are sworn to protect.

FORMER PRESIDENTS MUST HAVE THEIR MAIL SEARCHED
Former presidents don't have much privacy, and those snoopy Secret Service agents even get to paw through their mail. An ex-president's regular old snail mail and packages must be examined by agents before they can be delivered to protect them. The mail is all screened off-site by trained security staff with knowledge of dealing with explosives, dangerous chemicals, and so on. Every mail piece is meticulously examined for any possible threats to the former president.

FORMER PRESIDENTS CAN'T FLY COMMERCIAL
Imagine if you could never hop a quick flight ever again. While that may not sound like a bad thing, it would get old pretty quickly. This is something former presidents must deal with. They can't fly on a normal airline for security purposes, but they also no longer have access to Air Force One. That means they have to fly private if they need to go somewhere.
 
FORMER PRESIDENTS CAN'T — TECHNICALLY — BADMOUTH OTHER PRESIDENTS
Criticizing the people who held a job before and after you is a part of work life, and it can be cathartic to let off steam about them. Previous presidents don't have this luxury. While it's not an actual rule, an ex-president isn't supposed to talk smack about any other presidents. Basically, retired presidents are expected to stay out of the affairs of the current president and also avoid saying anything untoward about any other former presidents. You may have noticed this rule gets broken a lot. It’s actually a recent phenomenon, only cropping up since the beginning of the 21st century as partisanship has increased.

FORMER PRESIDENTS CAN NEVER GO ANYWHERE ALONE
Every so often, you just need some alone time. People take walks, seek out a quiet room, or whatever they need to find a little peace and quiet. If this is you, becoming president might be a bad idea because you're literally never alone, and that continues even after you've left office. Secret Service detail is a 24/7 thing, and former Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow described presidential protection  as "the most intrusive thing that anyone could ever experience.”

FORMER PRESIDENTS JUST CAN’T DO ANYTHING THEY WANT
While being one of the most powerful individuals in the world might seem like it would include the ability to do, well, pretty much anything you want short of robbing a bank or something, this isn't necessarily the case. Because of that 24/7, 365 day-a-year Secret Service detail, it's hard to be spontaneous. The Secret Service needs plenty of advance notice to prepare for any public outings. That means that anywhere you want to go needs to be scouted out days or even months beforehand to make sure the Secret Service's security needs can be fulfilled.

FORMER PRESIDENTS MUST HAVE A FOOD TASTER
When we think of leaders from the past, one thing you might think of is the food taster, the poor sap whose job it was to taste-test all of the food and make sure it wasn't poisonous. Food tasters still exist today. Presidents, former presidents, and even some members of Congress are required to have a food taster to check out their food at all times. What happens if a food taster isn't around? The ex-president doesn't eat.