In researching the Vice Presidency, one thing becomes increasingly evident - that research is, at points, impossible. Even as an office so separated from power that analyzing the social & political environment of the era in which a VP served is occasionally unnecessary, finding some piece of evidence of the office changing is one of those things you dream of.
This is exactly why the office has been the subject of so many comedic books. When they aren't comedic, there's usually some biting criticism of the office and it's uselessness. This is why our book is aimed at using the comedic bent as a tool to see if we can discover something new about the office that this perspective allows us. Rather than looking for something funny to write about, we're treating all history as inherently comedic, to see what then stands out.
Admitting our bias - embracing it, even - aside, our perspectives are pretty clear. In general, we want to see the office become more useful, by law. At any time, no matter how much a Cheney or Biden might change the day-to-day function of the office, that function might just as easily go extinct with whomever holds the office next. Solidifying it by law - even by adding one or two functions beyond the existing one - would add some legitimacy to the office, and hold the Veep accountable for something, so that we could be certain our second-in-command was ready to lead.
What do you think the VP should be required to do, by law? Right now, he breaks tie votes in the Senate. Cheney and Biden have both taken roles of power, in their own way - but we wonder if any of those powers are worth putting in stone. Let us know on Blogger and Facebook - we'll cover your suggestions in a later blog.
On a quick side note, thanks to those who continue to support Fly Me to Fritz, to allow us to complete our Walter Mondale interview in October.
Thanks once again, and good Vice-Presidenting, as always.
-Jason C. Klamm, B.A.