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Jules Witcover

Vice presidency is an important job nobody wants

Vice presidency is an important job nobody wants

The common view is that the American vice presidency is little more than booby prize awarded to achieve balance on the national ticket, and is a dead end to further political ambition. Never mind that the last two veeps, Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Dick Cheney, have been influential players in the administrations in which they've served. Mr. Cheney is often rated the most powerful vice president in history by adoring Republicans and despising Democrats alike. As for Mr. Biden, regularly mocked by Republicans as a loose cannon, he has been a visible and substantive policy adviser to his president, with 36 years of impressive service in the Senate before his six years as VP. Yet...