Monday, March 11, 2024

Selecting a Vice President



By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, March 11, 2023

DISCLAIMER:  This is NOT a political comment, this Nugget represents MY thoughts regarding how, why and whom a presidential selectee, regardless of political party, should select a person to become his or her Vice President.  

The first question that I would suggest considering is the role and function of a Vice President of the United States.  What is it?  Sadly, I think there is only one answer but unfortunately, the answer depends upon the person, any person, you would ask.  The following are a list of names representing the persons who served as Vice President during my lifetime:

Harry S. Truman *

Alben W. Barkley

Richard Nixon *

Lyndon B. Johnson *

Hubert Humphrey*

Spiro Agnew

Gerald Ford

Nelson Rockefeller

Walter Mondale

George H. W. Bush

Dan Quayle

Al Gore

Dick Chaney

Joe Biden

Mike Pence

Kamala Harris

The first question that I would suggest considering is the role and function of a Vice President of the United States.  What is it?  Sadly, I think there is only one answer but unfortunately, the answer depends upon the person, any person, you would ask.  The following are a list of names representing the persons who served as Vice President during my lifetime: I was not old enough to remember Truman and Barkley.  The first Vice President I remember was Richard Nixon.  Most people know that Harry Truman was Vice President under President Franklin D. Roosevelt who died in office during his FOURTH term as President.  The person most people have never heard of is the selectee that Truman made when he was elevated to the office of the Presidency; that being Allen W. Barkley.  Frankly, that would make for a great trivia question.  Who was President Truman’s Vice President. 

Five Vice Presidents went on to become President.  Kamala Harris, of course became the first female Vice President.  I am well aware that what I am about to say, many will disagree with and that is okay.  Tho names annotated with an asterisk, in my mind, were the ONLY Vice Presidents who I felt (my opinion) were qualified to be a Vice President and thusly, possibly become President by default.  As for the rest, they were chosen for a myriad of reasons, most not essential to be selected as the person to become Vice President of the United States. 

FIRST:  To be president of America, you must be at least 35 years old, a natural-born citizen and have lived in the country for at least 14 years.  Therefore, the first qualification of a Vice President should be AGE, is the person old enough (35) to ascend to the office of the Presidency should that occasion ever arise.  There is no upper age limit for the President so the same should apply to the Vice President as well.  The Vice President nominee should also be a citizen and have lived in the country for at least 14 years. 

SECOND:  Does the person considered have the personal qualifications, subjective as they are, to be the President of the United States.  In this regard, experience, presence of mind, knowledge of the history of the country and world, and have the ability to communicate with others is extremely important)  Suffice it to say that Kamala Harris would have a difficult time on the world stage because she finds it difficult to talk without her annoying and loud laughter; not a good optic for sure.  Plus, she gets engaged in what can only be called word-salad narratives.  Again, not a good optic.  Of course that is just my OPINION! 

Dick Chaney is another example of optics.  Not many people liked him, especially the national media.  They consistently painted him as someone who worked for and may still worked with the Military Industrial Complex. Shooting a hunting companion in the face was also not a good optic. It would have been problematic should he have ever ascended to the Presidency. 

None the less, those are what I would consider (my opinion) to be the prerequisites for a Vice Presidential selectee.  I emphasize that those are my opinions.  That opinion evolved over time and is based on what I would want in a Vice President if I were the President, a very farfetched idea. 

What actually goes into the selection process is also based on my opinion, so here goes: 

Presidential candidates often select someone from a state who the Presidential candidate believes will be able to attract votes from his or her home state.  I know this because it has been openly discussed for decades. 

Candidates are definitely selected because of their political party affiliation.  While this certainly makes sense, it is not an actual requirement.  A Presidential candidate can select anyone he or she chooses from any political party including no party affiliation at all. 

Our current Vice President was primarily selected because of TWO physical traits that President Biden specifically said he would do if elected.  Those traits being a FEMALE and BLACK.  He obviously felt that it would be a perfect selection, especially if he could satisfy both physical traits in one person; thus, he chose Kamala Harris who at the time was a Senator from California.  By design for by accident, the selection of Harris checked one of the other boxes that being that she could draw votes from a very large and populated state.  That was a bonus.  But her selection from California really wasn’t a plus because Democrats have carried the State of California for decades so her selection did not add to the electoral count.  Someone from a state that may change from one party to another because of the additional votes would have been more perfect. 

In a perfect world, one in which we presently do not live in, the Vice President should first and foremost be qualified based upon experience and beliefs that are similar if not exactly the same as the President who the Vice President works for.   Look at the list again and pay particular attention to those names with the asterisk.  In my opinion those people would have qualified, in my book, to become the President of the United States.  All the others are primarily political wannabes, OR, they fulfilled the need to come from a swing state to bring electoral votes with him.  Maybe the worst selection of all, in my opinion, was George H. W. Bush because he had an agenda that was completely opposite from President Ronald Reagan’s.  Reagan was for a strong and free nation and believed in a government that worked for “we the people.”  Bush, on the other hand, and in his own words, wanted and promoted a One-World-Government; that is the direction we have been headed as a nation ever since except during the four years of Donald J. Trump’s presidency. 

In 2024 we have two candidates, Biden and Trump.  The big question is WHO will Trump select as his running mate?  It would appear that Harris will be Biden’s Vice President by default.  The question in my mind is, should he select Harris because he can change people if he desires to.  In all honesty, I ask you, the reader, if Biden wins and should something happened to him over his next four years in office to where he can no longer perform his duties due to ill health or death, do YOU, the reader, think Harris is qualified to become President?  It is an honest question that everyone ought to think about.  The same question holds true for Trump.  Will he select a person that could become an effective President or will he select a person because that person brings electoral votes to the ticket in spite of any other qualifications? 

Most people, certainly not you, could care less who the Vice President to be is, it will not affect their vote.  Sadly, most people, certainly not you, vote solely based on the party affiliation of the person running for President and not who the Vice President is.  They also seem, in my opinion, not to really care about what the Presidential candidate stands for in regards to establishing a vision for the country’s future.  What policies will be enacted?  What policies will be terminated?  Will taxes go up, will they go down, or will they simply remain the same when one of these people take office?  The big question for me is will we as a country continue to support foreign countries engaged in war causing massive loss of life and destruction of property and for what purpose are we helping by funding one side over another?  Since both men will have served a 4-year term, it should be easy to answer the question, are you better off under Biden or where you better off under Trump. These are some of the things that are important to me, not what small letter in parentheses follows the person’s name.  Most people, certainly not you, really don’t care about a candidate’s policies or past history, they simply vote for the (d), the (r), or the (i) after the candidate’s name.  That is NOT how you properly vet a presidential candidate! 

To put it as simply as I can, in my opinion a Presidential candidate, regardless of party, should: 








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