We are at the finish line of a presidential campaign. Election Day is upon us, and the first vice presidential debate is scheduled for tonight between Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, and Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence. Regardless of whom you’re voting for, you are choosing the second-highest position in the executive branch and should weigh your options carefully.
Here are some facts around this political position and its relevancy:
- In 1792, the Presidential Succession Act passed, making the Senate president pro tempore next in line after the vice president to succeed the president.
- The Constitution requires that a vice president of the United States must be a native-born citizen, 35 years of age or older, who has resided in the United States for at least 14 years.
- The United States has had 47 vice presidents vs. 44 presidents because, during Nixon’s presidency, there were three different vice presidents.
- 14 vice presidents have become president (8 because the president died in office, and 1 because the president resigned).
- Until 1967, people just assumed that if the president died or was removed from office, the vice president would assume the presidency. It wasn’t until the 25th amendment was passed that there was an official line of succession, in the case of a vice president absence, the Speaker of the House will assume the presidency.
- The vice president only has one official duty; that is to preside over the Senate and to cast a vote in the Senate if there is a tie. But, in recent years the vice president has also acted as a top adviser to the president and also serves as a member of the Smithsonian Board.
- The vice president and his family live in the Naval Observatory.
- Per Section 3 of the 25th amendment, if the president is ill (or under sedation), the vice president will assume presidential duties.
- Historically VPs are chosen to balance some of the president’s views by taking more moderate or radical positions on certain issues.
- You cannot be elected VP if you have ever rebelled against the United States.
- Veep is a synonym for vice president.
- Harry S. Truman was Roosevelt’s VP, and FDR died just three months into his fourth term. Upon taking office, Truman was informed of the development of the Atomic Bomb—something that he did not know was happening under FDR administration. Truman created the National Security Council, in which the most important matters of national security would always be discussed in the vice president’s presence.
- According to history.com “Joe Biden is both the first Catholic and the first Delawarean to serve as vice president of the United States.”
- During a duel in 1801, Jefferson’s veep, Aaron Burr, shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, who founded the New-York Evening Post.
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