FDR's first – of three – Vice Presidents (John Nance Gardner) once famously compared his office to a "bucket of warm spit". Actually, according to the New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg, he used another bodily fluid in his comparison - one that makes more sense but is outside the acceptable vernacular of this PG rated blog.
Be that as it may, I think it's safe to say the Office of the Vice-President isn't a historically exciting one. There are very few actual duties associated with the VP. The VP acts as the President of the Senate – meaning he/she casts the deciding vote in the event of a tie. Other than that, the VP's job is to have a heartbeat when the President doesn't.
The sitting Vice-President has very much redefined the role of the #2 man on the ticket. Never before in history has there been a more dynamic or involved Vice-President. Love him or hate him, "Big Time" Dick Cheney has changed the way people perceive the VP.
Should John McCain win the election in November – which by the way he stands a pretty good chance of doing despite the MSM pontifications to the contrary – he will be the oldest man ever to assume the office for a first term. This makes his choice of running mate very important. Like it or not, mortality is a reality which necessitates there being a Vice-President.
Politico's Jonathan Martin has the following transcript from Romney's appearance on Hannity & Colmes which aired last night. Sounds to me like an audition for the VP job:
I think any Republican leader in this country would be honored to be asked to serve as the vice presidential nominee. Of course this is a nation which needs strong leadership. And if the nominee of our party asked you to serve with him, anybody would be honored to receive that call … and to accept it, of course.
He also included this broadside at both the Democratic candidates:
With Senator Clinton there is some confusion in perception that somehow being there while her husband was president made her a foreign policy-national security experienced person. She is not. She doesn't have any more experience, really, of a significant nature than Barack Obama does. But in Barack Obama's case, people recognize this guy was a state senator and before that he was a community activist. He has been a United States senator for a short, short period of time. He is in no significant way qualified to lead the country at a time of war, to lead the country out of an economic challenge. This is not a person who can stand up to Senator McCain. (Emphasis Added)
And finally, Romney said Listening to Obama and Clinton discuss their national security credentials is like
listening to two chihuahuas argue about which is the biggest dog. When it comes to national security, John McCain is the big dog, and they are the Chihuahuas.
I think Romney just insulted all Chihuahuas. Isn't there a smaller dog he could've chosen?
Here endeth the lesson.