Roughly Speaking podcast: A spy plane over Baltimore, and a hack at NSA (episode 141)

Dick Cheney

The wrong way to select a vice president

The wrong way to select a vice president

No tradition in the history of American political party conventions is more sorely needed than the one abandoned in the mid-20th century — namely, the selection of a vice presidential nominee solely by the convention. Until the era of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the vice presidential selection was a convention decision, separate and distinct from what the head of the ticket may have wanted.

The reason for the tradition, even when the primary election system arose in the early 20th century, was common sense. Party delegates, removed from the personal foibles and prejudices of the head of their ticket, could better select the best nominee to aid in the election process...