No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
— Article II, section 1, clause 5; United States Constitution
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.
— Amendment XXII, section 1; United States Constitution
That’s it in a nutshell. That is the sum total of requirements for the office of President of the United States. Once elected, they do have to take a very solemn oath:
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
— Article II, section 1, clause 9; United States Constitution
That’s it? No “so help me, God”? No sort of litmus test at all? If they were magically transported to our time, it might come as quite a shock to our founders what the requirements for someone running for president have evolved into:
1. Candidates must be conspicuously church-going Christians whose allegiance to God must be uttered whenever practicable (e.g. “God Bless this gift of a corn holder, and God Bless the United States of America”).
2. Candidates must never suggest that raising taxes is a good thing to do.
3. Candidates must propose lowering taxes.
4. Candidates must be adept at covering up all past and current mis-deeds including, but not exclusive to: affairs, medical conditions, questionable business dealings, surprise children, etc.
5. Candidates must not appear to be particularly intelligent, at least no more intelligent than most Americans consider themselves to be.
6. Candidates must be reasonably attractive, preferably tall, and be able to speak lines almost as if they had written them themselves.
7. Candidates must be all for the nebulous term, “Family Values” despite the fact that no one actually knows what that term means.
8. Candidates must be able to speak for hours at a time, only on subjects they have rehearsed, and to still not say anything substantive.
9. Candidates must have a joke writer so that they can seem both glib and folksy.
10. Candidates must be adept at raising more money in a month than 99% of Americans will ever see in their lifetimes.
And lastly, an anti-requirement:
0. Candidates aren’t required to understand international relations, economics, history, social issues, military history and tactics, or to have even read the United States Constitution.
If you want to be president in this day and age, you really need to follow those ten guidelines. While you might still get elected by skipping one (it better be a small one), you’ll have your work cut out for you. If you can’t manage to lower yourself to do those ten things…I would say you should practice saying, “You want fries with that?” but given the sort of chief executive likely to be elected, good luck finding a job that good.