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Old October 29th, 2012, 07:14 AM   #1

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Lightbulb Historical Vice Presidents


This is a genuine curiosity coming from who lives in a parliamentary Republic where the conception of "vice" is quite far from daily reality. We have had some "Vice Prime Ministers", but that figure is not in the Constitution and it can exist or not in this or that government, according to the agreements among the parties of the majority supporting the government.

In the United States, on the contrary, the Vice President is an institutional figure with a certain importance [in case the President dies, it's the Vice President to enter the oval office, like it happened when JFK had assassinated].

Regarding this point I have noted a coincidence:

after the murder of President Lincoln his Vice became President, he was Andrew Johnson;

after the murder of JFK his vice became President, he was Lyndon Johnson.

Sure a sinister coincidence [we could wonder if a candidate would risk to have a Vice President called "Johnson" ...].

But, a part easy jokes, sure in the US institutional system the Vice President is a preeminent figure, with a little spot: the legitimation of the Vice President comes from the election of the President. So that I wonder which is the weight that electors give for real to the eventuality that a Vice President could become President when they evaluate their orientation of vote.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #2

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Initially, the top two men running for office would be president and the second
place man was the VP. That has since changed.
Thomas Jefferson said, "The second office of this government is honorable and easy, the first is but a splendid misery."
John Adams called the office "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived."
Vice President Harry Truman seemed his duties were to "go to weddings and funerals."
It seems in the last two US elections the media has brought the VP, who was chosen
by the presidential candidate, not elected or chosen by the people, as seemingly
more important than the person running for the president.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 08:30 AM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
Regarding this point I have noted a coincidence:

after the murder of President Lincoln his Vice became President, he was Andrew Johnson;

after the murder of JFK his vice became President, he was Lyndon Johnson.

Sure a sinister coincidence [we could wonder if a candidate would risk to have a Vice President called "Johnson" ...].
There's actually a whole realm of "science" about the coincidences between the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations and their Vice Presidents. Tell you one thing for sure though: if I was a Presidential candidate, I wouldn't pick a Johnson as my running mate!

I don't think most American voters pay much attention to the Vice Presidential candidates themselves. If it does come into play in the decision making process, it would generally be either as a tie-breaker, or as a reflection on the judgment of the Presidential candidate in making the selection.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 12:30 PM   #4
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Most Americans don't plan on having their Presidents dying or stepping down while in office, so they don't pay a whole lot of attention to the Vice President. Everyone understands that a Vice President is selected for politican considerations, not because they would make the best President if the President died. I suppose in a very close election, a choice of candidate for Vice President coudl make a difference, but often the Vice President candidate is someone that no one has heard of. I don't think most American's knew who Truman was before he was made Vice President and then President, and most American's can't name Franklin Roosevelt's Vice President before Truman.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 03:18 PM   #5

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...and most American's can't name Franklin Roosevelt's Vice President before Truman.
Millard Fillmore?
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Old November 6th, 2012, 04:40 PM   #6

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Odd to me how so much foamy lather is made of Lincoln, but
not too many could name his first VP: Mr. Hannibal Hamlin whom
Lincoln did not even know till he won the election and who was
very easily jettisoned in favor of Andrew Johnson.
Click the image to open in full size.
Imagine President Hamlin in office instead of Johnson.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 12:49 PM   #7

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If the main candidate is quite old and his running mate seems to be an idiot, I could imagine it influencing voters.

So when did the Veep start running as part of the Presidential "Package" then?
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Old November 7th, 2012, 01:34 PM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RusEvo View Post
If the main candidate is quite old and his running mate seems to be an idiot, I could imagine it influencing voters.

So when did the Veep start running as part of the Presidential "Package" then?
If appearance influences a vote, you don't' need to be voting.
I can only find a few cases where the VP choice was given much
thought or the nation cared.
1. Adams/Jefferson (although Jefferson wasn't running with Adams)
2. Adams/Calhoun
3. Jackson/Calhoun
4. Lincoln/Johnson

I have to stop there because of rules.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 12:40 PM   #9

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I was thinking about a candidate I cant talk about here until 2030
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Old November 8th, 2012, 02:23 PM   #10

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Well, but it's true the other way round.

The position of Vice President has got its electoral weight in case the former Vice runs for the White House.

John Adams had elected president after being Vice President.
The same for Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren, George H.W. Bush [the father].

Also Nixon knew the same history, but not immediately after the mandate as Vice President.
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