The Vice Presidency Must Go

Founding fathers created institution in very different context
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2008 4:57 PM CDT
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., accompanied by his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, speaks at a rally in Columbus, Ohio, Monday, Sept. 29, 2008.    (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Few countries have vice presidents, and the US shouldn’t either, Bruce Ackerman writes in the LA Times. The founding fathers established the office as a consolation prize, the Yale law and political science professor explains, and it's morphed into a ticket-balancing slot. "This isn't a question on which the founders deserve any deference," he writes. "They designed their system for a very different political world."

McKinley's and Lincoln's VPs turned out to be the political opposites of their assassinated bosses. To take a more relevant example, "John McCain's surprising choice should lead us to think again,” Ackerman writes. "We should designate the secretary of state to be in charge until a special election can be held to replace a president."