Why are veep nominees so lame?
(From the Andrew Gelman at The Monkey Cage)
A few days ago Gelman blogged on the laughability of many vice-presidential nominees (John Edwards, Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Joe Biden, Aaron Burr, . . .) along with some hypotheses about what was going on. Jonathan Bernstein followed up with some thoughts of his own:
List A: Eagleton, Shriver, Dole, Ferraro, Quayle, Lieberman, Palin
List B: Mondale, (George H.W.) Bush, Bentsen, Gore, Kemp, Edwards, BidenList B are Vice Presidential nominees who had previously run for president, at least a little; List A are those nominees who had not run for president before their selection for the #2 spot . . . just on quick inspection there sure seems to be an enormous gap between the two lists, no? I think everyone on List B was regarded as a decent pick; there certainly are no wash-outs. List A, on the other hand, is a disaster area . . . If anyone wants to do an empirical study, I’d suggest checking for the word “dump” with the various nominees. I think you would come up positive for most of List A, and negative for everyone on List B.
If a presidential nominee asked me for advise about Vice, I’d tell him or her to make a short list limited to people who survived a presidential campaign with their reputations intact. Anything else is asking for trouble.
Me: The thing is VPs are so often picked for the purpose of balancing a ticket. Another geographical area, old and young, right and left. Does this often leave us with a weak pool to draw from? Thoughts?