Showing posts with label vice presidents. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vice presidents. Show all posts

Thursday, October 11, 2012

2012 Debates: Vice Presidential Debate Open Thread

Tonight's vice presidential debate kicks off at 9pm (EST) from Centre College in Danville, KY. The format will be similar to last week's first presidential debate and will be hosted by ABC's Martha Raddatz. It really isn't any mystery as to what to look for tonight. The vice presidential nominees are typically more willing/freer to take the gloves off and play the attack dog role (...unless we're talking about the 2000 Cheney-Lieberman tilt). We'll see if Vice President Biden and Congressman Ryan follow suit tonight.

The same rules apply as last week. Feel free to weigh in with comments and other observations in comments section. I'll pop over periodically respond, but I'll be most active on Twitter (@FHQ). Feel free to follow along there using the hashtag #fhqvpdebate.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Do the RNC Rules Allow a VP Selection to Be Dumped by the Convention?

Sure they do.

But of course, that won't happen in Tampa. And FHQ is not suggesting that it is a possibility. Rather, this is in answer to Jonathan Bernstein's follow up to Seth Masket on the influence of party over the vice presidential selection.

First the rules:
In the 2008 Rules of the Republican Party -- the rules governing the 2012 nomination process and convention -- Rule 40 covers nominations. Yes, the same Rule 40 that came up back in March and was the basis for all the talk about Ron Paul controlling a plurality of delegates in at least five states. The same is true for vice presidential nominations, but the procedure there is less regulated than for presidential nominations. By that I mean that delegates are not bound on the vice presidential roll call votes in the same way that they are on presidential roll call votes for nomination (...something Jon Ward covers here). I am not suggesting that there will be any Ron Paul delegate mischief or any other efforts to second guess Romney and oust Paul Ryan from the ticket in Tampa. Instead, the point is to show that it is possible.

Now the implications:
Within the framework of the party -- writ large -- influencing the selection of a vice presidential nominee, this merely adds another layer. But that is certainly a layer that strengthens the party's hand. It really is not unlike a president's decision in selecting a nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. There is a more than adequate supply of able jurists in the pool, but only a constrained number of them will ever be considered by any given president. There is a calculus to the decision and presidents can push the envelope -- ideologically speaking or in some other manner -- but the extent of said pushing goes only so far as the administration's perception of what/who is likely to get the requisite 60 votes in the US Senate for confirmation.

Similarly, Presumptive Nominee Romney wants/wanted to select a running mate that was palatable to members of the Republican Party. Any of the finalists -- Ryan, Portman, Pawlenty -- would have accomplished that. Additionally, there was a reason certain trial balloons failed: They weren't passable in a convention setting. FHQ has attempted to raise the issue of breaking from the script moments at the Republican convention in Tampa. Mostly that was within the context of the role of Ron Paul delegates. But the same rule applies in this case. Selecting, for example, a pro-choice running mate like Rice or Sandoval would have been vetoed -- in Bernsteinian? Berenstain? terms -- by the convention. It may not have been enough to derail the ultimate nomination of that type of candidate, but it definitely would ruin the harmonious party atmosphere with which the two national parties like to leave conventions.

The last thing any party or nominee wants is discord within the party before, during or after a convention. And that is the power of party in this particular political decision.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Palin's Poll Numbers Look a Lot Like Quayle's

From Brendan Nyhan posting at Pollster:

[Click to Enlarge]

Once perceptions are formed, they are difficult to break. And we all know how Quayle 2000 turned out. He didn't make it to Iowa. Will Palin?

Incidentally, Jonathan Bernstein over at A Plain Blog About Politics has an interesting take on how Palin fits into the 2012 field; like an issue candidate (a la Kucinich or Paul) but with a much bigger following. I aptly, in my opinion, draws a parallel between her and Jesse Jackson's run in 1984. It's an good read; check it out.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is Charlie Crist Running for Senate or Vice President?

Obviously, the current Florida governor is running for Senate, but give me a chance to explain my thoughts on the vice presidency. [Then you can decide whether the link between the two is a stretch.]

First, we'll need to assume a couple of things.

For starters, everything below assumes that the primary calendar and rules will remain virtually unchanged between now and January 2012. We can argue all day about the likelihood of major reforms to the primary process, but for the sake of this exercise, let's assume that Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada lead the way followed by Florida and then Super Tuesday.

We also need to assume that Charlie Crist not only takes the GOP nomination for Senate in the Sunshine state, but wins the general election as well.

At this point, these assumptions have a better than 50/50 shot of being the political reality in 2012 as I see it. [Likelihood of disagreement with those odds? 100%.] With that said, how does this get Crist closer to the vice presidency and why doesn't that improve the Florida governor's chances of gaining the GOP presidential nomination?

Well, all this started as a brainstorm that emerged from the comments to the Palin post the other day. The discussion there stretched from recent vice presidential nominees later running for presidential nominations to the importance of the 2012 primary calendar. And that got me thinking about Charlie Crist. As was the case in 2008, Crist's endorsement will be very much sought after in the race for the GOP nomination in 2012 due to the importance of Florida. But let me explain why I think that is.

First, 2012 will be a referendum on Obama. If the 44th president is well-liked, Republican primary voters will either vote for someone who can, in a Downsian sense, capture the ideological middle of the electorate or someone who offers a stark contrast with the current president. In other words, the GOP will either run toward the middle or go off toward the right. If we assume that the calendar remains the same, then, my bet is on the latter. And I'm not putting it past Obama's team or some surrogate(s) to cast a choice for the former -- at least during the primary phase -- as a choice for Obama-lite, a choice I think most Republican primary voters would potentially find unpalatable. [Of course, that could potentially ward off many of the more moderate candidates anyway. And it isn't as if that wing of the party is doing all that well at the moment in what should be dubbed the Specter War.]

That aside, though, why is a more conservative candidate more likely to emerge from the Republican side due to the calendar? Iowa and it's very conservative caucus electorate will be hugely important and will have a large say in who the nominee is. Yeah, that's not saying much. Iowa always has a disproportionate influence over the process given its position. But depending on who runs, Iowa could have an even greater impact. If Huckabee runs, he'll be expected to turn the same trick he did in 2008. If the former Arkansas governor opts out to wait on 2016, then Iowa becomes more important.

Here's why: If Mark Sanford runs, South Carolina's impact will likely be minimized. Nevada faces the same issue if Sen. John Ensign decides to run as well, but Nevada has to worry about timing as well. If the Silver state's primary coincides with South Carolina's primary again, that'll be a double whammy against GOP caucus-goers in Nevada.

Well, what about New Hampshire? Ah, the Granite state. Romney is far from a favorite regional son (former governor of neighboring Massachusetts, but with roots in Michigan and Utah), but my hunch is that Romney will be expected to do well there and will likely be positioned well enough to do so. Does that mean a win is a sure thing? No, but he'll be in good shape to claim the primary.

Any one of those states could have an unbiased influence on the states to follow minus their favorite sons or past winners (and not all will be viable if they choose to run), but there are reasons to believe there could be a massive split heading into Florida.
  • Huckabee could very well win Iowa again.
  • It isn't a stretch to see Romney winning New Hampshire either. He did place second there in 2008.
  • Sanford is still seen as a legitimate dark horse right now and could become just legitimate by 2012.
  • And it isn't out of the question for a local candidate to do well among a small caucus electorate like Ensign in Nevada. Would the senator even be considering this if Nevada wasn't so early in the process?
There are any number of combinations from the above possibilities, but let's assume that all that comes to pass and Florida becomes the de facto tie-breaker heading into Super Tuesday the next week. If you're Charlie Crist, what do you do?

"Hey! Florida is the decisive state here. I could win this thing!"


"Hey! Florida is the decisive state here. I could win this nomination, face a tremendously popular president and never be heard from again."

or (and this is the reason for the post)...

"Hey! Florida is the decisive state here. I could have a real influence over who becomes the nominee


First of all, the influence of endorsements (whether by political actors or newspapers) has still received a far smaller share of attention in the political science literature than it should have ( Rapoport, et al. (1991) pointed out), and the literature that does exist provides mixed results. But during the valuable invisible primary period, Cohen, et al. (2008) have recently found that endorsements matter as much if not more so than polling (though that is not statistically significant) to fundraising and subsequent electoral success. Regardless, it was the timing of Crist's endorsement of John McCain -- just prior to the Florida primary -- that made it so potentially powerful. And McCain's "just prior to the primary" endorsements -- Schwarzenegger and Crist among them -- seemed to have at least coincided with more primary success than, say, Barack Obama's endorsements from the likes of Ted Kennedy.

And Crist will likely have another chance to influence the nomination. Now, he could throw his hat in the ring himself, but he might be better served by throwing his weight around, successfully endorsing someone and parlaying that into a vice presidential nomination or a prime spot in the 2016 sweepstakes. My money is on the latter there. Crist is, at the very least, politically shrewd. Even if it takes some time, he has shown that he will pick his spots in order to advance his position politically. And 2012 may not be one of those spots. If he is so shrewd, he may want to avoid the vice presidential slot unless victory is a sure thing. Losing vice presidential nominees just have not done that well in winning their party's presidential nomination in subsequent cycles.

This isn't really about Crist and the vice presidency so much as it is about underlining the important role Florida -- and its high-profile Republican politicians -- will play in determining the next GOP nominee.

...if the calendar stays the same.

[Plus, such a post title is usually good for getting people's attention after a long holiday weekend.]

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Live Blog and Open Thread: The Vice Presidential Debate

10:40pm: Oh, Gwen Ifill is on crutches heading out of the hall (on C-SPAN). Not that it matters, but that is something I've never seen. I always thought presidential debate moderators were invincible. Another childhood dream shattered.

10:34pm: That's all folks. An interesting debate. Palin played it folksy and certainly surpassed the extremely low bar that had been set for her. Biden avoided all the potential pitfalls. [I think. I did briefly catch something about a wink at some point in The Fix's twittering of the proceedings. I'll have to investigate that. Update: The wink was from Palin early on apparently. Now I'm going to have to go to the tape.] But I don't really think this one changed anything. There was no train wreck (Palin bumbling through answers or Biden saying something he shouldn't have.) and no one really provided a wow performance. Thoughts?

10:31pm: I'm starting to see Tina Fey doing those poses while Hillary Clinton/Amy Poehler spoke in that SNL sketch. She's looking off in to the audience and smiling. Meanwhile Biden is wrapping up trying to hit all the points here from the middle class to the troops abroad.

10:29pm: The media is out to get Palin. She's unfiltered here though, she adds.

10:27pm: Change the tone of Washington? Hey, a Jesse Helms reference from Biden. He learned not to question other senator's motives. Palin attempts to tie herself to Biden and McCain by talking about doing similar things in an attempt to isolate Obama.

10:24pm: Last question: Changing positions based on circumstances. Biden: judicial nominations and ideology. Palin: "Quasi-caving?" Ooh, I wouldn't have used that language. But I probably wouldn't be up there. But this is a broad answer that doesn't really say anything.

10:22pm: Honestly, I'm shocked we have not heard the L word this whole time. I really thought we'd hear "maverick" and "most liberal" mentioned an awful lot tonight. Well, one out of two ain't bad.

10:20pm: Discipline? Biden's weakest trait. He counters it may be his passion. That one falls flat and even elicits uneasy laughter from the audience. He rebounds well by going into his biography.

10:18pm: Palin on gubernatorial experience and her experience generally: Alaska is a huge state? Well, in terms of area perhaps. It ain't California, though.

10:16pm: Palin from tripping over Supreme Court questions with Couric to answering constitutional questions on her potential position as VP. Biden calls Cheney dangerous and gets into specifics of Article I. Different definitions on display here. Legislative role for VP? Biden says only to break ties.

10:11pm: "Say it ain't so, Joe" Palin on Biden looking back at Bush policy and attacking them.

10:03pm: Palin's very authentic in talking about her outsider status in response to Biden's discussion of Bosnia and Darfur. And she moves effortlessly into her talking points. But what we have on display is not age versus experience but outsider versus insider and there is some overlap between the two.

10:02pm: Bosniacs? I'm not familiar with that ethnic group, Joe. Oh, can I call you Joe?

10:00pm: Palin is forcefully talking to Biden on the tactics/strategy in Afghanistan. Biden stumbles getting out of the blocks in response.

9:56pm: We are about an hour in. This is a good debate. More entertaining than the one the other night, but I still don't see it as a game changer. Palin is doing well, but not enough to sway a significant portion of those 34% of voters who think that this debate is consequential to their vote decision.

9:54pm: Oh, good line of attack from Palin. [And I'm paraphrasing to borrow a phrase from Biden tonight.] "For a ticket focused on change, you sure are focused on looking to the past and attacking the Bush administration."

9:51pm: On to Israel. Palin supports a two state solution. Biden thinks the Bush administration has been way off on Israel. Wrong on everything from Hezbollah and Lebanon to Hamas in the West Bank.

9:48pm: I love that we now refer to the leadership in Cuba as the Castro brothers. It sounds like a band. A communist, America-hating band, but a band nonetheless.

9:47pm: Iran and Pakistan? Biden pivots to Afghanistan and the Democrats' definition of the central front on terrorism.

9:44pm: And now on to funding of the troops. Barack Obama hasn't according to Palin and Biden still doesn't think McCain understands what's going on.

9:42pm: "
We will end this war!" Biden.

Palin, after an awkward pause: "Your plan is a white flag of surrender."

And on to foreign policy. How about the surge? Palin takes the McCain line. Biden: "With all due respect, I didn't hear a plan." Shifting response to the Iraqis.

9:38pm: Palin: the traditional definition of marriage. Biden: the traditional definition of marriage. Hey, agreement can happen.

9:36pm: Ah, (non-economic) domestic issues. Why not bring up a wedge issue first? How about gay marriage couched in terms of what is happening in Alaska with benefits for gay couples.

9:34pm: And Palin corrects Biden on the "Drill, baby, drill" chant. She's awfully good in a debate format. Interviews maybe not. But she's warmed up tonight.

Ooh, Biden brought up clean coal. Palin is writing notes on that one. Here she goes.

"If you don't understand the problem, you can't come up with a solution." Biden on the differences in the two tickets' approaches to the climate change issue.

9:27pm: "Toxic waste on Main St. is affecting Wall St. ." She flip-flopped that line. Not that she has lines.

9:25pm: If you aren't watching the full time split screens on C-SPAN, you are missing half the debate. The reactions are classic. And no, I don't work for C-SPAN, nor are they paying me.

9:21pm: Biden: "I call that the ultimate bridge to nowhere."

9:18pm: This is right where this debate is, both internally and externally: This tax discussion is about Reagan era, small government ideals versus a governmental role assisting citizens. Is the pendulum swinging back on this one? Public opinion on this government bailout sure is low.

9:14pm: Palin's good. Her debating style will play well in Peoria. The nerves are gone and she's warmed up.

...enough to get cut off by Gwen Ifill.

9:10pm: Palin apparently got the memo on the eye contact thing. She's trained on the cameras but she's already looked at Biden in rebuttal to his discussion of McCain's "fundamentals".

9:08pm: And there's the rebuttal to McCain voting 90% of the time with the Bush administrator line. "Obama has voted along party lines 96% of the time."

9:07pm: Biden is in attack mode.

9:06pm: Palin seems slightly nervous. Playing up John McCain and hasn't moved into the attack dog role. Ah, it's the first question.

9:04pm: Huh? The economy? I'm shocked this was the first lead question. Biden's off first and he's pointing out deregulation already.

9:03pm: "Can I call you Joe?" Nice, folksy icebreaker from Palin.

8:58pm: C-SPAN is showing podiums and unless Biden and Palin are sitting on them, I'd say this one will follow the presidential debate on Friday as a stand-behind-the-podium deal.

8:43pm: Here's a note on the format tonight (Yes, I think I've got it right this time.). From the Commission on Presidential Debates:
Vice presidential debate: all topics, moderated by Gwen Ifill
Thursday, October 2, Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

-Ninety-second answers, followed by two-minute discussion for each question. Two-minute closing statements.
I couldn't glean from the press release whether this is a stand up or sit down debate. We'll know shortly.

8:24pm: Incidentally, I'll be watching the debate tonight on C-SPAN. Hopefully they don't pull the ol' switcheroo on me like the did last week when the presidential debate was on C-SPAN2 -- a channel FHQ does not have access to -- and left me scrambling at the last minute to find any channel in time. Anyway, C-SPAN does have a nice resource in their Debate Hub, which will not only be streaming things live tonight, but has some nice features as well.

7:10pm: We are t-minus one hour and fifty minutes until go time at the vice presidential debate in St. Louis. I'm going on record now -- and I may hate myself in the morning because of it -- to say that this debate will be watched by a greater audience than the first presidential debate last Friday night. It is a classic Howard Stern scenario. People are tuning in for two completely polar opposite reasons. Either potential viewers like Sarah Palin and want to see her do well or they can't stand her and are awaiting the train wreck. Regardless, Joe Biden seems almost ancillary to tonight's debate (...unless he puts his foot in his mouth in a major way.).

And that brings us to the goals for each candidate tonight.

Biden simply needs to avoid the George Bush (circa 1984) trap and continue his convention attack on McCain.

For Palin, the bar has been lowered significantly by a few rocky interviews and the fact that the moderator, Gwen Ifill, has a forthcoming book about politics and race post-Obama.

For me, I'm trying to make it through one of these things without being booed again. But I digress...

Tonight should be fun and while you're waiting for the festivities to begin, why not interview Sarah Palin yourself? Thanks to the folks at the Princeton Election Consortium for the link.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Vice Presidents Quiz

Alright FHQ readers. The Week in Review in the Sunday Times had a quiz testing your ability to match vice presidents with the presidents they served.

Via The New York Times (The online edition is gated, so I'll reproduce it here so our readers can test their knowledge.):

The office of vice president has been a springboard for some of the most important leaders in American history, including John Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson and Harry S. Truman.

But many of those who have filled the position have found themselves on the fast, or slow, track to obscurity — or worse. Franklin D. Roosevelt went through three vice presidents. Richard M. Nixon’s vice president was forced to resign (10 months before M. Nixon himself did). Thomas Jefferson’s was indicted for murder. Millard Fillmore and Andrew Johnson, who both made the leap from the vice presidency to the top slot, left their former jobs vacant. Below are 10 vice presidents and 10 presidents. Who goes with whom?

1. Garret A. Hobart
2. Adlai E. Stevenson
3. Henry A. Wallace
4. Hannibal Hamlin
5. Calvin Coolidge
6. Charles G. Dawes
7. William R. King
8. James S. Sherman
9. Alben W. Barkley
10. Elbridge Gerry

A. William H. Taft
B. Calvin Coolidge
C. Grover Cleveland
D. Abraham Lincoln
E. Harry S. Truman
F. Franklin D. Roosevelt
G. William McKinley
H. James Madison
I. Warren G. Harding
J. Franklin Pierce

Take the test and share your results...if you dare. I'll post the answers tomorrow afternoon.

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