Vice Presidential Effects on Presidential Races with a Look to 2024 – and Nikki Haley

Thomas R. Marshall, Woodrow Wilson’s easy-going and jovial vice president, who was serially ignored by Wilson and kept out of many loops even when Marshall was a friendly source, had a favorite joke, recounted before he assumed the second spot on Wilson’s ticket:  “There was a man with two sons. One of the sons went to sea and drowned, and the other was elected vice president; neither son was ever heard from again.

And so, the reputation concerning vice presidents has had a lasting effect in the United States: it doesn’t matter whom the presidential candidate chooses as his/her running mate.

Yes, it does.

There have been consensually inadequate or undependable vice presidents who have run successfully, perhaps because some have not advanced to the presidency.

No one looked at FDR’s choices as material to their voting, but neo-Communist Henry Wallace (who much later sort of recanted) was replaced by Harry Truman in 1944;  Richard Nixon was never replaced by President Dwight David Eisenhower; Sen. Lyndon Johnson, detested by the cool Kennedy young Democrats, was kept as he was perceived as key to Kennedy’s winning in 1960;  Rep. Geraldine Ferraro may have guaranteed Mondale’s losing in 1984; Dan Quayle may have, along with Ross Perot’s 19% of the votes in presidential election, 1992, made Bill Clinton victory secure that year and Al Gore with his illusory strong family ties helped Clinton secure his second term in 1996.

Certainly, the argument is strong that Dick Cheney made it much more likely that George Bush would win two elections, 2000 and 2004; Sarah Palin was surely significant in McCain’s loss in 2008 and Kamala Harris will be blamed, perhaps correctly, if Trump wins in 2024.

When should the vice presidential nominee have had a more telling effect?  Perhaps when the Maryland criminal Spiro Agnew ran with Nixon in 1968.  Perhaps when the late  Sen. Joseph Lieberman, as Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, represented the last centrist Democrat to run for vice president whose personal morals were also as impressive as has been seen in national politics in memory.

This year offers little hope for vice presidential integrity or an integrity rebirth. Harris will be Biden’s running mate again, and a serious analyst should never say this, but I shall in this situation: ‘Nuff said.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. had a chance to be my guy,  voice and all, save for his vice presidential choice: Nicole Shanahan; yes, rich, utterly naïve, politically inexperienced Pete Buttigieg supporter, Ms. Shanahan.

Sure, why go for brilliant, values-in-the-right-place, political executive experienced, non-peculiar, excellent judgment-filled Nikki Haley when you could have fly-by-night Nicole.

Rich, able to finance an RFK, Jr. presidential run, Nicole Shanahan.

Someone tell me again how you cannot fool the American people…

You can fool most of the people most of the time…except to be fair, most Americans oppose a repeat of the 2020 presidential election.

And what is utterly sycophantic, formerly impressive South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott doing consistently rhetorically moistening the rear end of Donald Trump?

Perhaps you hope for South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem:  how about a sycophant-off contest?

Nikki, there is still time to run for president in most states and choose a fine vice presidential running mate.

How about Paul Ryan?  Experience counts (see Nixon’s slogan, 1968).

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