Vice Presidential Questions

The Seal of the Vice President of the United States.
Yesterday the question was asked by a co-worker, “If a vice president dies, how do we get a new vice president?” We racked our rickety brains but nobody knew so I researched the question and added a few more.

How is the Vice President Replaced?

The 25th amendment provides for a replacement if the vice president dies in office, resigns, or succeeds to the presidency. In the original Constitution there is no provision for selecting a replacement, so the office remained vacant until the beginning of the next presidential term. The issue arose in 1963 when Vice President Johnson succeeded to the presidency upon the assassination of President Kennedy and was rectified by section 2 of the 25th Amendment.

Section 2 of the 25th Amendment provides that:

Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Who was the First Vice President Selected by this Method?

After the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew in 1973 Gerald Ford was the first vice president selected by this method. Ford then nominated Nelson Rockefeller as vice president.

When can a Vice President Become Acting President?

Sections 3 and 4 of Amendment 25 provide means for the vice president to become Acting President upon the temporary disability of the president. Section 3 deals with self declared incapacity of the president, and section 4, which has never been invoked, deals with incapacity declared by the joint action of the Vice President and of a majority of the Cabinet.

Section 3 has was invoked in 1985 when Ronald Reagan underwent surgery and twice more in 2002 and 2007 when George W. Bush underwent colonoscopy procedures requiring sedation.

Who is Eligible to be Vice President?

The Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that:

…no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

Unlike the president, there is no restriction of the number of terms a person can serve as vice president. To serve as vice president, an individual must be a natural born U.S. citizen no younger than 35 and have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years.
Sarah Palin may be the first woman vice president.

Is There an Oath of Office?

The United States Constitution does not specify an oath of office for the vice president. A vice presidential oath, which has been used in various forms since 1789, is also recited by Senators, Representatives and other government officers.

What are the Duties of the Vice President?

Vice presidential powers are limited by the Constitution to becoming president should the President become unable to serve and acting as the presiding officer of the U.S. Senate. Informal roles of the vice president often include drafter and spokesperson for the administration’s policy, as an adviser to the president, as Chairman of the Board of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as a Member of the board of the Smithsonian Institution, and as a symbol of American concern or support. They may meet with other heads of state or attend state funerals in other countries, at times when the administration wishes to demonstrate concern or support but cannot send the President himself.

Where does the Vice President Live?

Since 1974, the official residence of the vice president and his family has been Number One Observatory Circle, on the grounds of the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

Has a Vice President Ever Resigned?

  1. John C. Calhoun in 1832 to take a seat in the Senate.
  2. Spiro Agnew in 1973 upon pleading no contest to charges of accepting bribes while governor of Maryland.

Did any Die in Office?

  1. George Clinton in 1812.
  2. Elbridge Gerry in 1814.
  3. William R. King in 1853.
  4. Henry Wilson in 1875.
  5. Thomas Hendricks in 1885.
  6. Garret Hobart in 1899.
  7. James Sherman in 1912.

Were any Assassinated?

  • Andrew Johnson was an unsuccessful target of the same conspiracy which murdered President Abraham Lincoln.
  • Thomas R. Marshall was an unsuccessful target of a letter bomb in 1915.
  • Dick Cheney was in the vicinity of a bomb allegedly meant for him.

Which Vice Presidents Succeeded to the Presidency?

  1. John Tyler when William Harrison died.
  2. Millard Fillmore when Zachary Taylor died.
  3. Andrew Johnson when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
  4. Chester A. Arthur when James Garfield was assassinated.
  5. Theodore Roosevelt when William McKinley was assassinated.
  6. Calvin Coolidge when Warren Harding died.
  7. Harry S. Truman when Franklin D. Roosevelt died.
  8. Lyndon B. Johnson when John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
  9. Gerald Ford when Richard Nixon resigned.

Have any Vice Presidents won the Nobel Peace Prize?

  1. Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 (when he was the President).
  2. Charles Gates Dawes in 1925.
  3. Al Gore in 2007 (after he left the office).

Rickety signature.

Comments

  1. Great blog. Very informative. It’s interesting that the Vice President was acting President when Bush and Reagan were in surgery/under sedation.

  2. I’m glad you like the blog. I read your blog, it is interesting and well-written.

  3. Thanks for answering my question. Sometimes news reports make the situation sound a lot worse. I would be hesitant to leave if I thought my home may be looted. Of course we have so much junk the looters could possibly be doing me a favor. :)

  4. Rick,
    Thanks for the comments on my blog. Where I live, there isn’t alot of looting, there aren’t many that evacuate. We live a few miles off the coast so the storm isn’t as powerful as it is when it makes landfall. Now, in the places where there are people who evacuate, there is some looting. Not like post-Katrina New Orleans. It’s usually two or three isolated cases.

  5. Thank you. It turns out that this article is one of the most popular. People must have a lot of questions about the vice president. I see that your blog is about horoscopes. I’m not into that but it looks like you have your material laid out well.

  6. Very good article.I read your blog, it is interesting and well-written.Keep going!!!

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