CHH Politics: Vice-presidency an important, quiet role

Dalton Workman

There are 11 days left until we decide who will be the next president of the United States. The two men vying for our votes have stark and vast differences. They come from different areas of the country, as well as different ends of the political spectrum. The process that they go through, to arrive at this point, is merely the same. They have to win the nomination of their respected party. Once nominated, they then decide who they want to be their running mate. With President Barack Obama running for re-election, he chose to keep Vice President Joe Biden as his running mate for this year’s election. Shortly before the Republican convention, Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate for the Nov. 6 election. 

However, the question is, does the vice presidential choice actually matter? The answer varies, but generally, the selection of a vice presidential candidate doesn’t really affect the outcome of the election. If you look back at previous presidential campaigns, you notice that the selection of vice presidential candidates has no real affect on the outcome of the election. Many voters, when they head to the polls, are voting for the person at the top of the ticket. Many tend to do that because they may not know the vice presidential candidate that well. When only one vice presidential debate is held every four years, it really only gives voters one opportunity to see the VP candidates debate. To some extent, the vice presidential candidate is just another surrogate for the individual who is running for president. 

Even though many don’t see the vice presidential pick as a game-changer in an election, I still see it as an important decision for the ticket. Essentially, the person running for president makes their first executive decision when they choose their vice presidential running mate. Secondly, what is the role of the vice president? Their job is to fill in for the president, in the case of illness or untimely death. So that makes the choice for the second in command all the more important. Even though statistics suggest that a vice presidential candidate doesn’t have a major impact in the race, I still see it as an important aspect of the campaign. Because, in the end, the vice president must be prepared at any moment to assume the office of President of the United States.