Here's how you actually run for president
What do former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and rapper Waka Flocka Flame have in common? They're both 'dead ass running for President in 2016' (Flame's words, not Clinton's.)
First you need to be like the Boss -- which means born in the USA. You also have to be at least 35 year old. So, sorry Mr. Flame, at 29 you can't start planning your move to the White House.
Check out the candidates who have officially announced (so far):
If you are actually of age and from 'Merica, the next step is to start an exploratory committee and register it with the Federal Elections Commission. With that, you take the public's temperature of you as a potential candidate.
To officially launch a campaign you need to register again with the FEC by filling out this Statement of Candidacy form. But, you can't do that until you've raised or spent at least $5,000 on your campaign.
$5,000 is a drop in the bucket in the race to the White House. If you want to be considered legit you need deep pockets. According to USA Today, the 2012 campaign was the most expensive in history.
Obama and Romney spent over $2 billion combined. So you better make friends with the well-heeled and kiss up to labor unions if you want a seat in the Oval.
With millions being poured into your campaign you bet your bottom dollar the feds will want to know what's what. With that comes more paperwork. Each candidate has to report back to the FEC monthly with all sorts of forms detailing their finances.
At this point you're officially a candidate, but if you have your sights set on actually being the Commander-in-Chief you have to get your name on the ballot. The rules for ballot access differ by state, but suffice it say, it is a lot of work.
All that leads up to hopefully winning the official nomination from one of the two main political parties. You can keep running as a third party candidate ... but it didn't really work out for this guy or this guy or that guy or Roseanne.
U.S. Presidents | InsideGov