The Purpose Of Vice Presidency Essay

1339 words - 5 pages

The Purpose of Vice Presidency

It appears to me that the vice president serves little or no
significant purposes in the American political system. When I think
of the role of vice president, the only thing that comes to mind is
the fact that if the president dies or is not able to hold office it
is the job of the vice president to take over as president. I am sure
I share this ideology with many others; however, the role of the vice
president is far more complex than that. In this paper, I will
discuss the position of the vice presidency and the role of the 25th
amendment.

The Framers devoted little attention to the vice president’s duties
when designing this role. They provided that “he shall be president
of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be evenly divided”
(U.S. Senate). I feel that when the Framers sat down to debate the
powers of the presidency, they were fearful of a powerful executive
that would in any way resemble in its powers of the King of England.
Therefore, in order to avoid this, they had to put the concentration
of power in the hands of more than one so they considered a
multi-person executive (This Nation).

Although the Framers finally settled on the Executive Branch being led
by a single individual; they remained concerned about the amount of
power the President would exert, the method of electing presidents,
the relationship between the president and the other two branches of
the government, and the manner of succession in the case of a
president’s death or incapacitation (This Nation). As you can see,
the Framers spent a great amount of time and energy in developing the
role of the presidency. Likewise, they spent a considerable amount of
time and energy weaving checks and balances between the president, the
Legislative and Judiciary into the structure of government they
created (This Nation). In contrast, with little display and without
extensive discussion, the office of the Vice Presidency was added to
the constitutional system primarily to address the problem of
succession (This Nation).

The Framers decided that the vice president would become the president
of the U.S. Senate. This is a role that only allows the vice
president to cast votes when the Senate is deadlocked in a tie. This
role is not found to be significant to the American Constitutional
system; however it was taken seriously by the Framers. The vice
president has no formal Constitutional authority. In terms of real
political power, vice presidents have exercised only the amounts of
power and authority given to them by the presidents under who they
have served (This Nation). The vice presidency has also served as an
important training ground for future presidents. “One third of
America’s presidents were first vice presidents, including five of the
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