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July 5, 2016
The process by which prospective vice presidential candidates undergo a thorough evaluation prior to being selected to serve on a presidential ticket.
Call Me Maybe
In the first presidential contests, the vice president was the runner-up in the Electoral College.
As you would imagine, it could be awkward to serve alongside your rival. The twelfth amendment, ratified in 1804,
resulted in combined president-vice president tickets. Since this change, vice presidential nominees have typically been selected to
the presidential nominee and bolster the ticket.
Some factors often considered are subject matter expertise, ideological balance, and geographic or electoral advantage.
But it’s been nearly 60 years since a candidate
someone to win a particular swing state or region, when Senator Kennedy picked Senator Johnson,
what many pundits say. Most recently, candidates have often been chosen to correct a particular weakness in ticket, such as
Governor George W Bush and Senator Obama
running mates who could add foreign policy experience.
The current process to vet a vice presidential candidate was first
by Jimmy Carter in 1976. Potential nominees can expect
and questionnaires, review of highly
information, and public disclosure of the finalists.
Unlike the appointment of many high-level government officials, the process is entirely
and is often run by
teams of lawyers.
With this advice, the presidential candidate and her advisors will then make an ultimate decision, often in the days or weeks leading up to the convention.
A vice presidential candidate should not detract — or distract — from a nominee: Senator McCain’s selection of
then-Governor Palin in 2008 initially gave the campaign a
Quickly, however, Palin had a
of stumbles, and the rushed vet by McCain’s attorneys became fodder for the press. Those same
who vetted Palin are now working with the Trump campaign to vet his running mate.
With the GOP convention only three weeks away and the Democrats following the week after, Hillary Clinton and
Donald Trump will soon announce their own vice presidential nominees. Trump’s
of candidates is extensive, though he has indicated that he
a nominee with political experience, with former Speaker Gingrich and New Jersey Governor Christie rumored to be at the top of his list.
Pundits have suggested that Clinton’s shortlist
includes Virginia Senator Kaine and Massachusetts Senator Warren. Candidates typically announce their running mates in the
leading up to the convention. Trump has
that he may wait until the Republican convention is underway to announce his running mate, which could be must-see TV that looks more like the finale of “The Apprentice” than a party convention.