Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Them Crazy Veeps: 9-8

The Veeps are ranked and ready to go. Starting at the middle, as the green numbers get lower, the guys get better, but as the red numbers go down, we get into some crazy-ass mother-fuckers. (8 of 12)

#9 - John Calvin Coolidge (Governor, Republican-MA) 1921-1923 (ascended) Pres: Harding

Even if he hadn't ascended to the presidency, Coolidge would still have quite actively started the transition of the vice presidency from a mainly legislative position to a full-fledged member of the executive branch. Coolidge was the first VP regularly invited to cabinet meetings, and he actively avoided involvement in Senate squabbles. In short, he was precisely what President Harding wanted him to be.



#8b - Albert Arnold Gore (Senator, Democrat-TN) 1993-2001 (2 full terms) Pres: Clinton

The team of Clinton and Gore proved to be a winning combination. Both men exuded youthful confidence. The president relied on his running mate in regular operations. Gore took several issues, like the environment, onto himself and made them his own. His nomination in 2000 was assured, and had it not been for the president's scandals, he could have easily won.

#8a- Joseph Robinette Biden (Senator, Democrat-DE) 2009- (current) Pres: Obama

First things first, Biden does not tie Al Gore. Biden's 8, Gore's 9. I just realized re-numbering this list would change the whole format. I re-numbered it on the full list, link at the bottom. When I first wrote this, I had Biden around 11-ish, but after eight years with him, this seemed more appropriate. Last time we saw a young president needing an older guy to lend him legitimacy, it was Kennedy's men keeping Johnson at arm's length. This time, Obama put him front and center and made him a real part of the administration. He was the unhinged moral compass, sometimes putting his foot in his mouth to move the president forward on social issues. By the time they left office, it was unclear who loved Biden more, the American people or his BFF president. Had it not been for his age, he would have been a clear nominee in 2016.


#9 - William Rufus DeVane King (Senator, Democrat-NC) 1853 (died) Pres: Pierce

You know those rumors that James Buchanan was gay? William King was his supposed lover. President Jackson called him "Aunt Nancy" (to Buchanan's "Miss Fancy"). Due to illness, King was in Cuba, seeking treatment, on inauguration day. It was in Cuba where he died a mere month later. From the time Fillmore took over after Taylor's death in 1850 to Breckinridge's inauguration in 1857, we were without a VP on American soil for almost seven years. So if Pierce had died too, we'd have been totally fucked.

#8 - Thomas Andrew Hendricks (former Governor, Democrat-IN) 1885 (died) Pres: Cleveland

Hendricks died less than a year into his term, but in that time, he managed to piss off basically everyone. Cleveland won the presidency by railing against the spoils system, whereas Hendricks, an old-school Democrat, believed spoils were the only way to govern. He joined with Senate Democrats to try to roll back Civil Service Reform all the way back to James Buchanan. Good thing he died.

Coming Up - Who spent almost eight years as Vice President completely shit-faced?

Later - Did Cleveland pick a better VP second time around?

(Click here to view the whole list so far)

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