The Veepstakes: Who Cares?

Thursday, December 22, AD 2011

The other day Pat Archbold wrote a post lamenting that Condoleeza Rice may be positioning herself for a run at the Vice Presidential nomination.  Though I agree with Patrick that she would be an unacceptable choice, it’s probably nothing to worry about.  Frankly it just seemed as though the Washington Times was attempting to make a story out of nothing.

It did prompt me to think about the attention that gets paid to Vice Presidential selections.  What I concluded was that this decision is generally inconsequential, and it’s foolish to determine one’s vote based on this selection.

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5 Responses to The Veepstakes: Who Cares?

  • That’s probably fair analysis about how similar ideology leads to greater influence But I have little confidence in reports about who really carries weight in an administration. You don’t hear many insiders claiming responsibility for failures or saying that they had nothing to do with successes.

    Additionally, what do we mean by impact? LBJ probably didn’t talk Kennedy into anything, but handled the dealings with Congress. It’s been pretty common in recent history for a governor-turned-President to have an insider VP. Anyway, those are my first few thoughts. I’ll be interested to see where this discussion goes.

  • Pinky, I was mainly thinking about having an actual impact on administration decision-making, but I hadn’t really considered other things like Congressional influence. That’s a good qualifier.

  • I think Gerald Ford had Nelson Rockefeller supervise the Domestic Policy staff at the White House and put him in charge of one very consequential commission of inquiry. Ford suggested at a later date that optimal use of the vice president would be as a chief of staff.

    Why not eliminate the position, or replace it with a set of appointive vice presidents?

  • What Ford said makes sense, although maybe the skills you’d look for in a Chief of Staff are different than those of a potential President. But does any candidate think about their VP as anything more than an election-season tactic? Maybe Clinton and W did, which is what makes their cases unique. And Paul, the main function of a veep seems to be to go to formal international events and not cause problems – which makes our current vice-president an interesting choice, to put it mildly.

  • I think the duties of the VP are daily to inquire as to the health of the Pres, and to attend state funerals. Otherwise, he’s the president of the Senate and casts a vote if there is a deadlock.

    Don’t trust my memory. It’s a long time since I was in high school. However, in those days they taught facts not ideology.

    They chose Blithering Joe Biden either because he could deliver the Electoral College votes of Delaware; or because they were fairly assured that he would make the zero look like a super star.