Out of all of the US VPs who never became US Prez, which VPs do you think would have made the best Presidents?

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,574
Las Vegas, NV USA
Theodor Roosevelt. Oops! He did become president, didn't he? But if he didn't he would have told William McKinley what to do. My choice is Walter Mondale who served as VP under Jimmy Carter. He later ran for president and carried Minnesota.
 
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MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,975
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
Breckenridge, while qualified, wasn't exactly my kind of President; he was pro-slavery--and vehemently so.

What's Gerry notable for other than the gerrymander?
Breckenridge became a traitor general in the Civil War. Thus, though competent, he had bad ethics aw well as bad politics.
 
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Aug 2019
51
Southwest Florida
Nixon's record wasn't exactly spotless, though. He bombed Cambodia and thus paved the way for the Khmer Rouge to seize power there, he supported Pakistan when it was committing genocide in Bangladesh in 1970-1971, he supported the coup against Allende in Chile, and @Viperlord said that Nixon was as conservative on domestic policy as political realities allowed him to be in the early 1970s.
Robert Dallek in researching his JFK work (An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917 - 1963) discovered that in the 1960 campaign JFK's doctor's office had been broken into.

"It appears that Richard Nixon may have tried at one point to gain access to Kennedy’s medical history. In the fall of 1960, as he and JFK battled in what turned out to be one of the closest presidential elections ever, thieves ransacked the office of Eugene J. Cohen, a New York endocrinologist who had been treating Kennedy for Addison’s disease. When they failed to find Kennedy’s records, which were filed under a code name, they tried unsuccessfully to break into the office of Janet Travell, an internist and pharmacologist who had been relieving Kennedy’s back pain with injections of procaine (an agent similar to lidocaine). Although the thieves remain unidentified, it is reasonable to speculate that they were Nixon operatives; the failed robberies have the aura of Watergate and of the break-in at the Beverly Hills office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist.

Source: The Medical Ordeals of JFK: The core of the Kennedy image was, in many respects, a lie. A presidential biographer, granted access to medical files, portrays a man far sicker than the public knew. Robert Dallek.

Nixon started very early, and has a long history of being a scumbag; Watergate was not a minor event, he corrupted the FBI , CIA, and the IRS.
 
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Aug 2019
51
Southwest Florida
How about George Clinton? Was popular enough that he garnered the third most votes in the 1792 election and then served as Jefferson's VP choice in the 1804 election,* and then Madison's in 1808.

A successful governor of New York, his tenure as president (and as a New Yorker) would have been most interesting come the War of 1812. ** At the very least he would have created a different dynamic regarding the run-up to war. He may have been able to hold the War Hawks at bay, or at least bring home the the New England hold-outs.

Being as well, a strong anti-federalist, one has to wonder how a two term Clinton (1805-1813) would have affected northern attitudes towards states' rights and nationalism.

* Being the first election after the 12th amendment, you could say George Clinton was the first VP 'ticket-balancing' choice. Jefferson lost in '96 without NY, and won in 1800 with NY., and with Burr now out of the picture in 1804, Jefferson knew he needed another New Yorker.

** Clinton dies in 1812.
 
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Code Blue

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Feb 2015
4,407
Caribbean
Nixon started very early, and has a long history of being a scumbag; Watergate was not a minor event, he corrupted the FBI , CIA, and the IRS.
But does that make him a bad President? lol

Sorry, but it's a stretch to me to think the people involved at high levels needed Nixon to corrupt them. JE Hoover denied the existence of the Mafia, and this is supposedly after FDR used Luciano to guard the NYC docks?
 
Aug 2019
51
Southwest Florida
But does that make him a bad President? lol

Sorry, but it's a stretch to me to think the people involved at high levels needed Nixon to corrupt them. JE Hoover denied the existence of the Mafia, and this is supposedly after FDR used Luciano to guard the NYC docks?
I agree. But it wasn't Hoover, it was L. Patrick Gray who (doing Nixon's bidding) corrupted the FBI. He shut down the Watergate investigation and destroyed evidence, which then led to Mark Felt (Associate FBI Director) leaking info to Woodward; Felt could see the real damage Nixon/Gray were doing to the agency.

The Luciano roost is a great story. We still don't know if the S.S. Normadie was set afire by German sabotage or the New York mob, but either way it was a smart move for the Federal government to deal. They got rid of Luciano (he never got back into the States, getting as close as Havana) and the problem went away. At that time there were bigger fish to fry.

Maybe I am splitting hairs, but dealing with Luciano is less damaging to the United States then cheating an election.
 
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Code Blue

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Feb 2015
4,407
Caribbean
Maybe I am splitting hairs, but dealing with Luciano is less damaging to the United States then cheating an election.
A little bit. Those two things are not necessarily mutually exclusive. But then, I may be just shaving them all hairless.

I am probably the least likely to believe an "honest man" can survive the deadly intrigues of power politics and rise to rule. And that even if he did, the tendency of absolute power to corrupt anyone into the standard rationalization that they have to accept a little wrong in the name of some greater good. That's a pill that you don't have to force down a narcissistic throat.

It was very much conventional bar-stool wisdom from 1975-85 that the only difference between Nixon and the others is he got caught. And when people think a President is "good" there is almost no limit to the lawlessness that they will justify (ie Lincoln and FDR taking tens of thousand of political prisoners without Constitutional warrants or due process). Nixon is "bad," just because he got caught? I'll bet he did worse things that we don't know about.

The thing that always "bugged" me about Watergate is how 5 "CIA" guys have so little trade-craft among them that they have to put tape on a door latch. lol
I know James Bond and Jason Bourne are exaggerations, but White House black-bag operators can remember to bring a roll of tape, but can't remember to bring a locksmith? Sounds like a set up. The only one that did any time was the one who didn't talk.
 
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