Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hopemoir: Veeps

A man who is second-in-command is always first in line with regards to those beneath the commander.
- Jason Klamm

Okay, so that's not an ACTUAL quote of mine. Well, not of the real me. It's a quote of the me to the right. With the Biden beat ever slower, I thought I'd do my best to give our loyal readers a taste of previously-published material. Namely, my book. Namely, "Looking Forward: A Hopemoir," my alter-ego's campaign "mani-festive," based off of our award-winning pilot presentation that got us national exposure through Comedy Central & FX.

As I finished the book up last October, just in time for the elections, I realized that, with my new knowledge on the country's least-appreciated office, I would be remiss not to have my character examine the office in his... way. What I later realized is that his "way" is not unlike that of an historian. He goes against the grain for impact, rather than being able to back everything he says up. Unlike historians, however, he has no idea why he's doing that. As far as he understands it (from watching a lot of TV news as a kid), politics is saying things with conviction. He is passionate about having passion.

Following is the first of a two-part blog series of excerpts from the chapter on his choice of VP, entitled "A Future President's Vice." If you like it, please purchase the book on "Amazon.com and tell your friends.

A Candidate’s Potentia Pro Tempore (Part 1)

It is no exaggeration to say the average candidate overlooks the Vice President. Prior to any major election, the choice of VP is left until the last second as a surprise to increase interest in a candidate’s campaign, at least temporarily boosting their numbers in the polls. The choice of Vice President is always a cold one. If you are from the North, pick a Southerner. If you’re white, choose an older white candidate. The basic and contrived opposition that comes with the Vice Presidential choice grows tiring to the average American, who inevitably votes for the primary candidate, without much thought, if any, put towards the qualifications of their VP as a potential president.

What presidential candidates fail to realize is that the Vice President is not simply the most unappreciated officer in the executive branch. He might also be the most important.

Though I haven’t made a choice – I have a rather lengthy list to cull from, and a list of those whom I feel might grow to be good potential VPs – I am always pondering on how to best make my choice. I have to choose a man or woman with such extreme duality in their personality that both sides almost cancel one another out. I have to find not a blank slate, but a slate so completely covered in chalk as to be illegible. This person must not simply be prepared to take over all of the duties of Commander-in-Chief at a moment’s notice, and have the skill and capability to serve the office as well as his predecessor, but he must function exceptionally in the constitutionally-mandated duties of the Vice President.

The law of the land lays out a very specific path for the VP to take. He must preside over tied votes in the Senate. This single duty allows the VP to be perhaps the most useful person in Washington simply because he isn’t weighed down by a constitutionally-required function, other than the rare tie-breaking Senatorial vote. With a substantial expense account and the free time to serve at his own pleasure, unlike the inundated Cabinet, the Vice President can bring about social and political change unlike any other office-holder in the entire government.

With this in mind, I must find a person who can capably hold down such an office while still finding time for themselves, as they may be called, any time, to serve in my stead. At the same time, I would like my future Vice President to leave the office in a professional state should I, in the case of Vice Presidential illness or incapacitation, need to take on the duties of both President and Veep.

-Jason C. Klamm

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