Is the vice presidency overrated?

A very interesting Washington Post article arguing that the vice presidency is overrated in the hunt for becoming the next President.

As I usual do in cases where the discussion of overrated/underrated comes up I ask: How is this currently rated?

Currently, VP Joe Biden has to be discussed in any legit conversation about the Democratic candidate for President in 2013. I wouldn’t say he is the favorite because people seem a lot more excited about Hillary Clinton.

I would say that this is proper because Biden has done everything except officially announce he is running (and at this point I think Biden has to officially announce he’s not running for President for ti to be news).

Aaron Blake wrote:

“In fact, in the past two centuries, only two vice presidents have been elected to the top job upon completion of their bosses’ terms: George H.W. Bush and Martin Van Buren.

By contrast, over just the past 70 years, the losers include Al Gore, Dan Quayle, Walter Mondale, Hubert Humphrey, Henry Wallace and Richard Nixon (who lost in 1960 before winning eight years later).
Even among vice presidents who have ascended to the top job, about half wound up losing their next campaign when they ran for a full term.”

I don’t think the vice presidency helped Nixon… even if he lost in 1960 he did eventually get a seat in the Oval Office.

I tend to think that it’s the man that matters and not what position they held. I think Quayle, Mondale and Wallace weren’t great candidates.

It seems that Presidents are often worried about VPs who could usurp them. The most recent example of this would be Dick Cheney.

14 VPs have become president in total (eight by death of the president, one by resignation and five by election).

It seems that being VP is pretty good for eventually getting the top job but it’s certainly no guarantee. I think that the bully pulpit has really diminished in importance with the Internet and the explosion of media.


~ by realfactsandbeer on January 21, 2013.

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