November 3, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

The American Vice Presidency: From Irrelevance to Power

The American Vice Presidency: From Irrelevance to Power

Language: English

Pages: 592

ISBN: 1588344711

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The American Vice Presidency is an all-inclusive examination of the vice presidency throughout American history. Acclaimed political journalist and author Jules Witcover chronicles each of the 47 vice presidents, including their personal biographies and their achievements--or lack thereof--during their vice presidential tenures. He explores how the roles and responsibilities were first subject to the whims of the presidents under whom they served, but came in time to be expanded by enlightened chief executives and the initiatives of the vice presidents themselves. Constitutionally assigned only to preside over the Senate as they stand by to fill a presidential vacancy, early vice presidents were left to languish in irrelevance and ineffectiveness; only in recent decades have vice presidents received--or taken--more power. In particular, Walter Mondale, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden have undertaken greater and more significant responsibilities. Witcover reports the political maneuvering and manipulation that transformed the vice presidency from mere consolation prize to de facto assistant presidency. The American Vice Presidency, an insightful, revealing look at this oft-dismissed office, is a must-have for lovers of behind-the-scenes political history.

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president went ahead with his threatened veto, the majority leader became particularly incensed at the incendiary language Roosevelt used in rejecting the bill. He called it “a tax-relief bill providing relief not for the needy but for the greedy,” saying he had asked Congress for “a loaf of bread” and was handed instead “a small piece of crust” of “many extraneous and inedible matters.” Barkley wrote, “To me, $2.3 billion is no crust.”16 The next day Barkley took the Senate floor, angrily

lost the election to John F. Kennedy in the closest presidential election yet. Hoping to resurrect his political fortunes, Nixon ran for the governorship of California in 1962 but lost again, providing Rockefeller another crack at the Republican presidential nomination in 1964. This time he took the traditional course by entering select primaries and put all his considerable energies and financial resources into the pursuit of it. In the meantime in 1961, Rockefeller had taken the political risk

page; this page; this page; this page; this page; this page v3.1_r1 CONTENTS Cover Title Page Copyright Dedication Introduction 1. John Adams of Massachusetts 2. Thomas Jefferson of Virginia 3. Aaron Burr of New York 4. George Clinton of New York 5. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts 6. Daniel D. Tompkins of New York 7. John C. Calhoun of South Carolina 8. Martin Van Buren of New York 9. Richard Mentor Johnson of Kentucky 10. John Tyler of Virginia 11. George M. Dallas of

Capitol and the White House, young Dallas brought a draft of British peace terms in the War of 1812 to Washington. In 1816 he moved back to Philadelphia, where he married the daughter of a prominent Federalist family and had eight children with her. Taking to an aristocratic lifestyle and dress, he acquired expensive tastes that kept him constantly in debt, a circumstance that obliged him to reject a number of government posts, though he did become counsel to the Second Bank of the United

the patronage wars between Dallas and Buchanan, finally promising to pay more attention to his vice president. One vote Dallas cast to break a Senate tie proved to be his own biggest challenge. In 1846, after Polk’s decision to seek tariff reductions, the balloting on doing so ended in a tie. After much soul-searching Dallas supported it, against the interests of his state’s iron and steel industry.14 To make the choice more palatable to Dallas, Richard Rush, a Pennsylvania ally of his, wrote to

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