VID: Does the Vice President Matter in American Politics?


"Is the Vice Presidency an Irrelevant Position?," interview by Nick Gillespie and produced by Amanda Winkler. About 8 minutes.

Original release date was December 5, 2014 and original writeup is below.

"Who am I? Why am I here?" asked Admiral James Stockdale, one-time running mate to Ross Perot, in a famous 1992 vice presidential debate. The admiral's remarks garnered ridicule from the public, but recently acclaimed political journalist and author Jules Witcover has asked the same questions about the vice presidential role itself: Just what does the vice president do and why does it matter?

Witcover's new book, The American Vice Presidency: From Irrelevance to Power, explores how the roles and responsibilities of the vice president have shifted and expanded over the years. No longer expected to just preside over the Senate, modern vice presidents have, according to Witcover, gained more power through political maneuvering and manipulation. 

Witcover recently sat down with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie to discuss his new book, his least favorite vice president, and why John McCain's 2008 choice of Sarah Palin for a running mate was a hail Mary pass. 

Approximately 8 minutes.

Edited by Amanda Winkler. Camera by Joshua Swain and Meredith Bragg.