Annotation 4 - Article II
When the President is disabled or is removed or has died, to what does the Vice President succeed: to the ''powers and duties of the said office,'' or to the office itself? There appears to be a reasonable amount of evidence from the proceedings of the convention from which to conclude that the Framers intended the Vice President to remain Vice President and to exercise the powers of the President until, in the words of the final clause, ''a President shall be elected.'' Nonetheless, when President Harrison died in 1841, Vice President Tyler, after initial hesitation, took the position that he was automatically President, 99 a precedent which has been followed subsequently and which is now permanently settled by Sec. 1 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment. That Amendment as well settles a number of other pressing questions with regard to presidential inability and succession.
[Footnote 99] E. Corwin, op. cit., n.44, 53-59, 344 n. 46.