Worst Modern VP Picks

Don't be so quick to judge Palin

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 26, 2009 11:52 AM CST

(Newser) – Sarah Palin's critics say she was unqualified to be vice president, but don't be too quick to label her the worst pick ever, writes Matthew Cooper. In the Atlantic, he runs down others since WWII who need to be part of the conversation:

  • Spiro Agnew: Nixon's VP had to resign on bribery charges and had scant experience before being picked. "In terms of corruption and temperament, has there been anyone worse in memory?"
  • Richard Nixon: His paranoid personality would have made him a disaster as president in the '50s had Eisenhower died in office. Nixon dealing with Stalin, Khrushchev, and Castro? Yikes.

  • Henry Wallace: Good thing FDR dumped him for Truman. He was "a naif about Soviet expansionism" and held "dreamy notions of one-world government."
  • John Edwards: Scandal in the White House anyone? And despite a "genuine compassion for the poor," his four years in the Senate hardly made him more qualified than Palin.
  • Geraldine Ferraro: A bold choice by Mondale in 1984, but her resume as a prosecutor wasn't awe-inspiring, nor were her husband's business scandals.

What a disaster if John Edwards' scandal erupted while he was in the White House.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
Henry Wallace was FDR's vice president before Truman. Lucky for the nation, Roosevelt dropped him in 1944. He was a "naif" about Soviet expansion.   (Getty Images)
Spiro Agnew in 1973. He had to resign on bribery charges and wasn't qualified to be there in the first place.   (AP Photo/File)
Knowing what we now know about Richard Nixon's personality, let's be thankful Eisenhower didn't die in office. Nixon dealing with Stalin? Frightening.   (AP Photo/File)
Geraldine Ferraro was a bold choice by Walter Mondale in 1984, but was she qualified? Doubtful.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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