Ha! On the Office of US Veeps

Despite the hoopla surrounding the choice and announcement of Veep candidates in American politics, the occupiers of the Office of Vice President in the US, once settled in office, often do not have nice things to say about the very office they hold.

John Adams, the nation’s first Veep said this on the office of the US Vice President: “The most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived.”

Many presidents made matters worse by ignoring or belittling their vice presidents. President Herbert Hoover didn’t even mention his vice President Curtis in his inaugural address.

l Adlai Stevenson, the veep for president Grover Cleveland, was once asked if President Cleveland had consulted him about anything of even minor consequence. “Not yet,” he said. “But there are still a few weeks of my term remaining.”

In the 2012 election cycle, Paul Ryan, the Republican Veep candidate and a health nut among the GOP members of Congress, in a radio interview exaggerated his athletic prowess by claiming that he did the 26.3-mile marathon under 3 hours. The three-hour bench mark is a very big deal among Marathon runners. It turns out that Ryan was off by nearly 33%. His actual timing was more like 4 hours.

Nelson Rockefeller, given little but ceremonial duties by President Ford, said of his job: “I go to funerals. I go to earthquakes.”

Dick Cheney, who was an exception in weilding power behind the scene under his oblivious Bush-43, earned notoriety for shooting a friend in the face when he went quail hunting. Dan Quayle, George H W Bush’s veep, on camera, incorrectly corrected an elementary school kid who spelled potato correctly. Veep Quayle corrected the kid by adding an “e” at the end as “Potatoe.”

Thomas Marshall, Woodrow Wilson’s veep said this “ There were two brothers. One ran away to sea, the other was elected vice president, and nothing was ever heard of either of them again.”

Daniel Webster was a powerful conservative politician in the mid 19th century. He was a member of the House of Representative, a US senator, and also the Secretary of State during his political career. Having seen the glorified hollowness of the office, he is said to have declined the offer to be the veep with this gem: “I do not propose to be buried until I am really dead and in my coffin.”

Sources: Wikipedia and Smithsonian.com.

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