Today in History: George H.W. Bush Declares Himself the 41st President
by M.C. Millman
On January 4, 1989, George H. W. Bush became the first sitting Vice President whose job it was to declare himself the officially elected president of the United States.
"This announcement shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the person's elected president and vice president of the United States," Bush said as he announced his own presidency of the United States.
As the sitting vice president, George Bush was responsible for presiding over the electoral vote count. Therefore, he was the one to declare who had won the election and would serve as the new president after certifying the votes.
Bush wasn't the first sitting vice president to be elected president as the eighth vice president of the United States, Martin Van Buren became the eighth president of the United States in 1836.
While other vice presidents did serve as presidents, in most cases, that occurred after their predecessor died or was assassinated, that was not the case, though, for Gerald Ford, who became the 38th president due to the 37th president, Richard Nixon, resigning.
Bush was inaugurated as the 41st president shortly after his announcement.