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Crapshoot: Rolling the Dice on the Vice Presidency

Crapshoot: Rolling the Dice on the Vice Presidency

by Jules Witcover

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Five of the last nine U.S. presidents first served as vice-presidents. This statistic, argues syndicated columnist Witcover, makes clear the recklessness of George Bush's choice of J. Danforth Quayle as his running mate. Most of the book is an astute, scathingly ironic history of vice-presidential politics--generally colorful, if at times inevitably tinged with the dullness that clings to that office. All presidential nominees claimed that their choice for v-p was the person ``best qualified'' to become president if destiny dictated, but in nearly all cases, the author demonstrates, the selection was motivated by either the need for geographical balance on the party ticket, the desire for a subservient yes-man or similarly short-sighted considerations. Witcover ( Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars? ) proposes that presidential nominees be required to submit a list of potential running mates for review by the national convention. Alternately, the president-elect might submit vice-presidential choices to Congress for approval. Witcover's suggested reforms should stir national debate. (Feb.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
If for no other reason, Dan Quayle deserves credit for raising the vice presidency to the forefront of presidential politics. Supporting the view of John Nance Garner, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first vice president, who said, ``it wasn't worth a bucket of warm spit,'' some politicians and political scientists, as well as historians (notably Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.) want the office abolished. Unfortunately, the public remains largely indifferent. Witcover, a prolific journalist, covers all these points in a most readable and comprehensive treatment of the vice presidency from 1789 to the present. He notes that Jimmy Carter's selection and treatment of his running mate is the model for the modern presidency. In conclusion, Witcover wants presidents to be held responsible for what amounts to their first decision. Recommended for all political collections.-- William D. Pederson, Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport

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Crown Publishing Group
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1st ed

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