Republican Vice Presidents

Mike Pence Historical Reputation At Stake As He Leaves Vice Presidency Next Month

Vice President Mike Pence, the 48th Vice President, has been a total disaster in that office, and has added to the horrendous record of recent Republican Vice Presidents, as compared to recent Democratic Vice Presidents.

Just going back a half century, and one can see how different the historical reputation is of the two party’s Vice Presidents.

There are two Republican Vice Presidents since 1969—Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush—who later went on to become President, and despite controversies, stand out as reasonably decent Vice Presidents. Nelson Rockefeller, under Gerald Ford, also comes across as having had a decent record and historical reputation worth defending.

But then we have Spiro Agnew under Richard Nixon, who was forced out of the Vice Presidency by corruption, and it remains terrifying that he came so close to becoming President.

We have Dan Quayle, who was a not very bright man, and very scary as potential President when George H.W. Bush had some health crises.

And we have Dick Cheney, often considered more a President in the first term of George W. Bush, who was terrifying in his “Darth Vader” type evil, and committed war crimes and abuse of power while Vice President, demonstrating the potential for harm done by a very bright man, who was transformed by September 11 in a dangerous way.

Now compare this to the Democratic Vice Presidents since 1969. We have Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter, recognized by scholars as the most active, engaged and exceptional Vice President in American history, and still living 40 years after his time in office, and reaching the age of 93 on January 5.

We have Al Gore, who served Bill Clinton in a very reputable fashion, and influenced Clinton on environmental and other matters. And he had the dignity after a contested Presidential election in 2000, to concede in a manner that showed respect for the Constitution and rule of law.

And we have Joe Biden, who is seen as either equivalent of importance to Barack Obama or just second to Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter, and now will be the 46th President of the United States in less than a month! Certainly, Biden’s Vice Presidency prepared him for the challenges he will face on January 20, 2021!

All three of these Democratic Vice Presidents in the past half century stand out as successes, and all three also ran for President, and they add to the dignity and significance of the office of Vice President.

The Republican Vice Presidents, at least Agnew, Quayle, and Cheney were, by comparison, true disasters!

Now, Mike Pence, who has demonstrated a complete lack of guts to challenge Donald Trump on anything he says or does, has an historic role he faces on January 6, to go through the ceremonial duty as President of the US Senate, to conduct a formal counting of the electoral votes before a joint session of Congress.

Every one of the Vice Presidents in office at the end of the term from Hubert Humphrey in 1969, through Nelson Rockefeller in 1977, through Walter Mondale in 1981, through George H. W. Bush in 1989, through Dan Quayle in 1993, through Al Gore, in 2001, through Dick Cheney in 2009, and through Joe Biden in 2017, have followed procedure and refused to allow challenges or controversies during that solemn ceremony.

But the odds are good that Mike Pence will allow such characters as Congressmen Mo Brooks of Alabama, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Jim Jordan of Ohio; and Senators Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin to delay the counting of the vote as they try to deny Joe Biden his rightful win in the Electoral College and in the popular vote nationally!

If Mike Pence does that, he will be condemned in history on the level of such disgraced Vice Presidents as Aaron Burr and Spiro Agnew!

Republican Presidential Nominees And Presidents, And Their Running Mates: No Love Lost, Historically!

It is clear from the study of history and news coverage over the past half century that Republican Presidential candidate and even Republican Presidents have NOT been enamored with their Vice Presidential running mates or Vice Presidents.

We go back to Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew as the first example, with Nixon using Agnew to attack the news media and Democrats in the midterm 1970 Congressional elections, but having little personal regard for him, and unwilling to come to his support when Agnew was revealed to be engaged in corruption, which would force his resignation in October 1973.

Then, Nixon selected Gerald Ford as his Vice Presidential replacement more on the idea that he felt that Ford, while well liked in Congress, would not be seen by opposition Democrats as all that competent to replace Nixon during the impeachment crisis of 1973-1974.

Gerald Ford seems to have really admired and felt comfortable with Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President under the 25th Amendment, but agreed to drop him from the ticket in 1976 to please conservatives, led by Ronald Reagan, and to select Senator Bob Dole of Kansas as his replacement.

Ronald Reagan may have utilized George H. W. Bush’s expertise, but had little personal regard for Bush, and the Bushes were never invited to dinner at the White House during the eight years of their association.

Bush certainly had little faith and trust in Dan Quayle during his Presidency, and the nation knew it, and worried about the incompetence of Quayle.

Bob Dole’s selection of Jack Kemp in 1996 to be his running mate as Vice President certainly was not as a result of friendship or warmth, and they seemed an ill fit, often disagreeing during the campaign.

George W. Bush selected Dick Cheney in 2000 due to his vast experience, and allowed himself to be dominated in the first term, but their association soured dramatically in the second term.

John McCain seems to have been forced to select Sarah Palin in 2008, and Palin helped to undermine McCain, but McCain continues to defend Palin even today, although it seems clear how uncomfortable he is when answering questions about Palin.

The Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan connection in 2012 seems also not to have been one of great warmth and friendship.

And Mike Pence is squirming a lot as Vice Presidential running mate for Donald Trump, seeing Trump contradict him openly and making clear his lack of regard for Pence, including being upset that Pence performed better in his debate with Tim Kaine, than Trump did with Hillary Clinton in their three Presidential debates.