The Vice Presidency has become more significant and powerful since the time of Richard Nixon in the 1950s under Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Before Nixon, the Vice Presidency had little impact, and was often the butt of jokes and humor.
But the office has grown since then, and with the exception of Spiro Agnew under Nixon and Dan Quayle under the first President Bush, the men who have held the position have been men of quality, distinction, and ability, even if one did not necessarily agree with them on their political stands.
Recent books on the Vice Presidency have demonstrated that the last three Vice Presidents, each in office for eight years, a record in American history, have had a great impact on the office.
Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden have all served in a manner that demonstrates their influence and impact on the Presidents they served.
Now, with the almost certain reality that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the likely nominees of their parties, we have the alternative candidates being past 70 and 69 respectively, meaning either one will be in their 70s during their term.
This is the first time that we will have both party nominees as senior citizens, and only Ronald Reagan for all but two weeks of his Presidency, and Dwight D. Eisenhower for three months were in their 70s.
So we must insist that both parties are very careful in the selection of the Vice Presidential nominees, as the odds of the next President not being able to finish his term has grown, with the rise in age of the nominees!
If one looks at the odds, it is something to worry about that it has been 53 years since the last time a President died in office, and 42 years since a President left office, and that makes for a longer such time frame than any previous period since the beginning of the Constitution!
We cannot afford to have another Agnew or Quayle, or even a potential Sarah Palin, as a heartbeat away from the Presidency!