Dick Cheney's shadow looms large as Barack Obama and John McCain consider possible VP candidates, Jules Witcover writes in Washington Post. Once hailed as a sober, responsible running mate, Cheney overstepped his bounds and impinged on the president’s authority. The next VP must be more restrained, Witcover writes, but not irrelevant.
Cheney’s “co-president” model has been a disaster, yet weak VPs are dangerous too. While the position has been mocked as powerless, nine vice-presidents—nearly 20% of them—have had to take the president's chair. The position needs just enough power to attract talented people—just not ones who plan to rule behind the scenes.