Joe Biden vs. Paul Ryan: The evolution of the vice president in America(Read article summary)
As the presidential race heats up, vice-presidential expert Joel Goldstein discusses how the role of the nation's No. 2 has changed over the decades.
As a satirist once observed about an American vice president, it's hard to play second fiddle when you don't even have a bow.
The Constitution just doesn't give vice presidents much to do except wait around for something unfortunate to happen. Not all VPs have minded much: One had enough spare time to run a saloon. Others devoted themselves to pastimes like writing history books, dreaming about getting a law degree, and bashing the guy in the White House.
How'd that happen? For better or worse, who are the most memorable VPs? And how many have shot a man while in office?
For answers, I called author Joel Goldstein, a Saint Louis University law professor who's perhaps the nation's leading expert on vice presidents.
Q: One of Franklin Roosevelt's vice presidents famously declared that the office is "not worth a bucket of warm [bodily fluid]."
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