As Vice President Role Grows, Spotlight Becomes Brighter
The debate between Vice President
Such verbal bouts between running mates have seldom been great drawing cards. Nevertheless, while second banana candidates are most often little seen and less heard, their debates have become increasingly valuable. They shed light on the political judgment and wisdom of the presidential nominees who choose them, though seldom are they determinants in how presidential votes are cast.
In the last two presidential cycles, public interest in what in earlier years had been an inconsequential sideshow rose sharply. Four years ago, the debate debut of little-known
Beyond that, however, the vice-presidential debate was a reminder of how far the vice presidency itself has come in the lifetime of most of us. Once shunned as a political dead end by most ambitious politicians, it is now eagerly sought by many. It has become not only a stepping-stone to a future presidential nomination but also a job in which a major role in national policy can be had.
That trend really began 26 years ago, when presidential nominee
In 1981, winner
As president, Bush interrupted the trend by choosing boyish and gaffe-prone Sen.
In 2000, the junior
Eight years later, when
As for Romney this year, he chose in Ryan a rising young star in the Republican congressional leadership ranks. As chairman of the
In all, the esteem and power of the nation's second elective office have come a long way since 1964, when Republican presidential nominee
It may be too much to expect that voters, in casting their ballots for president, will give much consideration to the two party's choices for vice president. But at least the vice-presidential debates afford a good look at what they might get as part of the package that may run the country for the next four years.
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As Vice President Role Grows, Spotlight Becomes Brighter | Politics
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