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  • VP Debate: Who Cares? It Doesn't Matter.

       October 05, 2004

    What do these men have in common?

    • George Clinton
    • Gerry Elbridge
    • Daniel Thompkins
    • John Breckenridge
    • Hannibal Hamlin
    • Schuyler Colfax
    • Levi Morton
    • Thomas Marshall
    • John Garner
    • Alben Barkley

    If the title of this post didn't give it away, would you have any idea that they were Vice Presidents of the United States? I know I would have had no clue. The only one I've ever heard of is George Clinton. However, I know the George Clinton who tore the roof off the sucka, not the George Clinton who was Vice President under both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

    My point is that the only Vice Presidents that anyone knows or cares about are those VPs that eventually become the President. That's why I can't take the Vice Presidential debate seriously. If they were to actually discuss what they would do in the role, the debate might come down to whether it's acceptable to wear a pink tie to a European royal wedding.

    Some might argue that in today's turbulent times, the role of the Vice President is more important than ever. That's BS. From the list above, Hannibal Hamlin was Lincoln's first VP, Thomas Marshall was VP during WWI and John Garner was FDR's VP from 1933 to 1941. If the names of the men who were second in command during those years of crisis can be lost to history, the names of John Edwards and Dick Cheney can be too.

    Posted by at October 5, 2004 09:24 PM

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    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: james at October 5, 2004 09:38 PM

    sure, kris, names can be lost to history, but that doesn't mean that their contributions were lost. the history of the united states is filled with thousands if not millions of people that did their part and never got the credit, were never recognized, and were "forgotten" by history. that doesnt make their contribution any less valuable.

    dick cheney has no doubt been instrumental in the planning and execution of the war on terror. is history going to remember his name? i can't say. but i'll tell you one thing - i'm sure glad we have dick cheney in that role.

    "it's amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit."

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at October 5, 2004 09:53 PM

    I think the only reason anyone even thinks the VP might be important is because of the role Cheney has had since 9/11.

    However, I would point out that Cheney is kind of a weird VP: he's not from an electoral vote-rich state, he wasn't a competitor for the party's nomination and he's not a rising star being groomed for the Presidency. The role Dick Cheney fills isn't like that of other VPs. I'd go so far as to say that it's historically unique. I mean, it's not like anyone thinks John Edwards would fill that role in a Kerry administration, right?

    As for the rest of these forgotten VPs, I'd be happy to challenge anyone to point out some of their accomplishments. Presidential administrations are well-documented and I'm sure that their contributions (if they made any) weren't lost to history.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Joe R. at October 6, 2004 07:08 PM

    There are some VP's that have been significant to history, even before they earned their own electoral mandates. Sure, Hamlin, Marshall, and Garner are forgotten--but Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson aren't.

    In fact, that's a fairer comparison in my opinion: the current U.S. VP has the potential to become President during a war.




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