Whenever I'm in a debate regarding left-wing media bias, I find it useful to mention the treatment of Vice President Dan Quayle as opposed to the treatment of Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden by members of the Fourth Estate.
While Gore made statements that bordered on the absurd -- he claimed he created the Internet -- the liberal establishment even now heaps praise and accolades upon him, including an Academy Award for his documentary on global warming.
In the latest Democrat administration, Vice President Joe Biden provides chuckles galore for news people, but they continue to herald him -- the man talk host Mark Levin called "The Dumbest Man in the Senate" -- as a gifted politician and statesman.
But Dan Quayle will always be tied to a single event that hurt his political career: the misspelling of the word 'potato.' To this day, those paragons of truth and accuracy still snicker at the mention of Quayle's name.
The office of the vice president was created at the constitutional convention in 1787. The vice president has two official duties according to the Constitution: To preside over the Senate, however the vice president is not allowed to engage in the debate, nor vote unless there is a tie; and to assume the presidency in the event of the death, resignation, removal or incapacitation of the president.
Initially, the person who received the second highest electoral vote for president became vice president. The flaw in this system became evident in 1800 when Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr each received 73 electoral votes. Congress adopted the 12th Amendment to the Constitution in 1804 which provided for separate ballots for the two offices and defined under what circumstances the vice president would become president.
Fourteen times in history has the vice president become president. Eight upon the previous president's death. Only five were elected in their own right and one -- Gerald Ford -- took over upon the resignation of the president.
An attorney from Huntington, Indiana, James Danforth Quayle spent four years in the House of Representatives followed by eight years in the Senate before being chosen by George H. W. Bush as his vice presidential candidate.
During the Bush-Quayle campaign, detractors spoke of Quayle's lack of experience and youth. Twelve years in the U.S. Congress did not seem enough experience for a man seeking the Vice Presidency in those days. Yet, today a man with but two years in Congress as a Senator now sits in the Oval Office.
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