Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vice Presidents

Vice Presidents tend to fade into the background unless needed for something, but I found this neat site that is all about the Vice Presidents. Anything you want to know seems to be here! This even includes infromation about "also ran" VPs. What I don't like, though, is that all the profiles just link out to Wikipedia (I can rant for days on Wikipedia so don't get me started...you'll regret it...). So that's a major negative in my book, but still a nice resource for a often overlooked role. As a note, there are profiles of the VPs through the US government sites, which they also link elsewhere...no idea why they even bothered with Wikipedia....okay, sorry, had to rant a little bit... This site also includes up to date election information, so really there a ton here for anyone interested in this topic. They also link out to a lot of other good VP sites (minus of course...).

As I said, there is a ton here, but I've picked out a few cool items I found browsing today to share. This is hilarous - a picture poll of VP cars. Love the golf cart and bumper car! Or how about the best gun? Burr and his dueling pistols! Then you can read about the death threats on Ferraro during her run for VP:
The FBI dossier contains 59 pages that detail four incidents of men who threatened Ferraro during the peak of her political career – including one Dallas man who mixed in insults against women and Italians, and another who uttered threats on a San Francisco-bound flight. The FBI redacted numerous passages and withheld two pages from the file, citing national security and privacy reasons.

I really liked this as well on the different methods we've used to pick VPs. As we all remember, at first it was the loser who was VP:
Once upon a time, the Vice President was simply the presidential contender with the second-highest number of votes. Yet, this caused many problems for early presidents who would up with flustered Veeps who didn’t much like taking orders or agree with the president’s policies. However, it was the Election of 1800 which ultimately changed the way we select vice presidents. The highly contentious battle between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr led to a tie in electoral votes and political deadlock, thus exposing a weakness in the Constitution. Even after Burr was elected VEEP, Jefferson felt he could never trust his #2 in command. He gave the vice president very little to do and felt exceedingly uncomfortable when Burr began petitioning to get all his cronies appointed to special positions. The 12th Amendment was passed in 1804 to limit the confusion in the future, should a tie occur.

Yet, the conflict between Presidents and their Vice Presidents was hardly solved. John C. Calhoun and Andrew Jackson immediately come to mind when I think of Washington odd couples. The two hardly ever agreed on any major issue and let petty personal quarrels come between them. In fact, divisions ran so deep that Calhoun became the first VEEP to resign from his post – leaving no acting vice president from December 28th, 1832 to March 4th, 1833.

Go find some forgotten VP facts!

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