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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vice-president, too literally

John Edwards: his path from golden boy to persona non grata in North Carolina

Reports that the US Justice Department is moving ahead with a potential indictment against John Edwards underscore how much his political ascent was dashed on the rocks by an affair, a love child, and, allegedly, a $1 million payoff.

That’s the story start in CSM. The sophomoric joke used to be that “vice-president” was “president of vice”.  That’s been a little too literal during my lifetime; many of the vice-presidents or VP nominees have turn out to be less than stellar. Let’s review:

2008: Sarah Palin

2004: John Edwards, see above, and Dick “Halliburton” Cheney

2000: Joe Lieberman – a highly competent individual, but not actually a Democrat, as it turns out.  And Dick “Halliburton” Cheney.

1988, 1992: Dan Quayle, never respected.

1984: Geraldine Ferraro, who’s family finances were questionable.

1968,1972: Spiro Agnew, who resigned  after a scandal.

1952, 1956: Richard Nixon (whose problems began in earnest some years later)

Not exactly an inspiring pattern. It makes you wonder if we would be better off having no one a heartbeat from the presidency, or perhaps making this a cabinet post appointed after the election, sort of like “Secretary at large”.