Message to Obama & McCain: Veeps Matter!

Posted: Jun 06, 2008 10:24 AM

There's a good argument to be made that "Veep" picks don't impact elections.

But it is clearly the case that vice presidents can -- and do -- impact policy decisions.  For example, what might George W. Bush's presidency have been like if he had picked someone other than Dick Cheney?

And even if a VP doesn't have a major impact on the current administration, it is clear that the vice presidency can be a stepping stone to the White House.

When Ronald Reagan selected George H.W. Bush to be his running mate in 1980, a lot of conservatives were angry.  Some went so far as to predict that the selection of Bush guaranteed the Reagan Revolution would end when Reagan left office. 

Most movement conservatives were hoping Senator Paul Laxalt -- a close friend of Reagan's -- would instead be selected.  Others hoped that, perhaps, Jack Kemp would get the nod.   

Of course, George H.W. Bush was a loyal and capable vice president, but his presidency, itself, could be described as mixed.  Perhaps more importantly, something Reagan could never have predicted occurred:  By making Bush his heir-apparent, he inadvertently helped pave the way for the election of George W. Bush in 2000.

My point is simply that -- for an office, "not worth a warm bucket of spit" -- this is a big decision -- and one which could have long-term consequences ...