The Vice President Does Matter Essay

1125 words - 5 pages

The Vice President Does MatterI'm always amazed when I hear someone say, "The Vice President of the U.S. doesn't matter", or "no one votes for the V.P. but everyone votes for the President". It is particularly interesting when I hear black folks saying these things. As I sat and watched the V.P. Debate last night, I couldn't help but to remember just how important the V.P. has been in this country.You see we don't have to go back that far to find out just how important a V.P. is. We can go to Nov. 22, 1963 when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. L.B. Johnson hit the ground running as our new President. After watching Kennedy drag his feet on the Civil Rights Bill being pushed by Dr. King and others, Johnson signed it into law only 7 months after Kennedy's death on July 2, 1964. He came back only 1 year later and signed the Voters Rights Act on Aug. 6, 1965. No one can argue against the collective importance that these two pieces of legislation had for the rights of black folks in this country. When Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974 after turning the office of the President into a disgrace, a cool headed, Midwesterner with middle class, hardworking values from Michigan by the name of Gerald Ford was able to restore confidence in the Oval Office. Not being an extremist, he was able to work across the aisle with Democrats to lift the nation.Then there was Dan Quayle, V.P. to George H.W. Bush, who could not even spell the word POTATO . Never had the American public seen such an idiot in such high places. I clearly recall many in the Republican Party begging old man Bush to cut this in-experienced, wet behind the ears, mistake waiting to happen from the ticket. And of course in recent memory, we have Al Gore, V.P to Bill Clinton. As the charges for Obstruction and Perjury were passed by the House of Rep. on Clinton and taken up in the trial of Clinton by the U.S. Senate, could there be any doubt that the 55 Republican Senators had to strongly consider what would happen if Clinton was to be thrown out of office on Feb. 12, 1999. Clearly they had to calculate what this would mean to hand the office over to a very competent Al Gore just nine months before the Presidential election. Is there any doubt Gore would have possibly been in a much stronger position in his run for the Presidency if he was already in the seat. We can argue that one later, but I was always taught possession is 70 - 80 % of the law. As you may be aware it takes a 2/3 vote (67 Senators) to find the President guilty and throw him out on the street, so the 55 G.O.P. Senators needed 22 Democrats to join them. While none of the 45 Democrats voted Guilty only 50 Republicans voted Guilty on the charge of Obstruction of Justice (the charge that got the most votes for Impeachment). It cannot be lost on us that 5 Republicans voted not guilty. At least some part of their calculation must have been not turning the office over to Gore in an election year.Which brings us to last night's...

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