Why is the President allowed to campaign for a candidate? Are there any restrictions to this?

  • 3
    Are there any laws restricting any citizen from campaigning?
    – jalynn2
    Nov 3, 2016 at 16:58
  • 3
    Why do you think they shouldn't? There's no requirement, or even implication, of neutrality in the role.
    – Alex
    Nov 3, 2016 at 17:00
  • 4
    Because it's a free country.
    – user9790
    Nov 3, 2016 at 17:13
  • @Alex - one can argue that he's using the power of the office to promote a specific party. That is philosophically not necessarily OK - and in practice, it's illegal to use taxpayer funds to campaign.
    – user4012
    Nov 3, 2016 at 18:40
  • @Jalynn - Yes there are. Though every time someone challenges the law they end up overturned Nov 3, 2016 at 20:24

2 Answers 2


The answer to your question is there is nothing that prevents the incumbent President from campaigning.

You should note that President Obama and Vice President Biden are elected officials. In this sense, they are different from other government employees who are not elected.

There are no federal laws that prevent them from campaigning for other candidates they endorse. However, if they use the government resources such as Air Force One, the expense calculated in accordance with relevant law should be reimbursed by the campaign.


Because free political thought and speech is a cherished and protected right in the US. Regardless of how corrupted the government has become the founders realized that there was always a chance to right the ship as long as the people can talk about the realities of the people running the government.

This extends to every person in the country including the president.

When using government Facilities for election events the venue must be made available to all candidates for use at comparable times. So say Obama decided to do a speech in support of Hillary from the oval Office tonight then They would have to make accommodations for all of the candidates who wish to use the Oval Office during a comparable time slot. So the blanket rule is no campaigning in places that are not open for public gatherings anyway.

  • 2
    Just know they can't use taxpayer money to do it. And they can't do it from public facilities. One reason you won't see a campaign speech from the Rose Garden.
    – user9790
    Nov 3, 2016 at 17:48
  • Agreed Dep. Your's is better stated
    – user9790
    Nov 3, 2016 at 17:55
  • It should be noted a speech about a contested issue isn't necessarily a campaign speech, while possibly having an effect on a campaign.
    – user9389
    Nov 3, 2016 at 19:41
  • @notstoreboughtdirt - It does not really matter. Its all protected speech. Nov 3, 2016 at 20:28
  • 1
    @DeplorableNumber9035768 Just a nitpick. Since you say an official has to pay for the use and make available common resources when campaigning I thought the loop hole might be relevant. Our officials may be slightly less restricted then the picture you present. And while I'm picking would it compromise your integrity to tone down the corruption line?
    – user9389
    Nov 3, 2016 at 20:49

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