Things could be worse than being vice president

When the Founding Fathers were going about the business of creating a new country more than 200 years ago, one based on democracy and liberty, they paid little attention to the office of the vice president.

Originally, the VP position was filled by the presidential candidate who finished second in the electoral balloting. It was kind of an after-thought or a consolation prize.

It wasn’t until the passage of the 12th Amendment in the early 19th Century that our system of electing both the presidential and vice presidential candidates took a more decisive route, resembling our current method.

It’s not that the job of vice president is all that difficult. Your most important job description is to be ready at a moment’s notice to take over the leadership duties of our country. And for that, you get an annual salary of nearly $80,000, plus $10,000 for job expenses.

The veep serves as both a member of the Executive Branch of Government (he is — or, she is — first in line to the presidency) and the Legislative Branch (he presides over the U.S. Senate and votes in case of a tie on legislative matters).

Interestingly, while the president is limited to no more than two four-year terms as commander-in-chief, the vice president is under no such term limit; he can be VP for as long as people keep voting him in office.

There are two cases where a vice president has served under two different presidential administrations — George Clinton was VP under both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, while John C. Calhoun was vice president under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.

Historically, the office of vice president is looked down upon as something not worth the trouble; more bother than it should require.


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Fredericksburg Standard

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