A heartbeat away

Remember Spiro T. Agnew? He’s the U.S. vice president who called a diligent press unraveling the Watergate scandal “nattering nabobs of negativism” and ''pusillanimous pussyfooters.”

Agnew might have been president of the United States when Richard Nixon resigned except for the fact that he himself had already resigned after being charged in a kickback scheme and pleading “no contest” to income tax evasion.

I submit that we, as U.S. citizens, pay too much attention to the “head of the ticket” and not enough to the “running mate.” Campaign tickets of recent years bear this out.

In Election 2000, I supported Al Gore. Had he been “selected” president by SCOTUS, Joe Lieberman would have been a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Lieberman turned out to be “a horse of a different color” when he fortuitously did a switch from Democrat to Independent in order to lure Republicans to his rescue when fighting to retain his senate seat. He had lost the Connecticut Democratic Primary to Ned Lamont, but was ultimately elected by Republicans. IMHO, that puts him on a character level with Caligula.

The man selected Vice President that year was Dick Cheney, Bush’s 24-karat guarantee against impeachment. Like Agnew with Nixon, Cheney was - and is - the axe man out front defending George W. Bush’s policies. I lost count several years ago of how many lies this man has told. The idea of Dick Cheney in the presidency sends a chill down my spine.

In 2004 I wholeheartedly supported John Kerry for the presidency. Early on, I began to blog of my uneasiness about Kerry’s running mate, John Edwards. Trusting my gut instinct, I found him too smarmy and smooth. This assessment gained credence when Edwards came before the cameras associating his 2008 run for the presidency with his wife Elizabeth’s recurrence of cancer.

At DemWit’s inception I wrote that I wouldn’t spit on Edwards if he were on fire. Harsh, I know, but I was sick of his campaign ad blitz in South Carolina claiming “I’m poor folks like you.” My God, the man was worth $54 million!

My feelings about Edwards turned out to be correct. The man who turned to Hillary Clinton during a presidential debate and smirked, “I don’t like that jacket” turned out to be a slimeball.

Now comes reports that former Edwards aide Andrew Young is seeking a publisher for his new tell-all book. In the book, Young claims Edwards asked him to lie and claim paternity of the girlfriend’s baby. Edwards, Young claims, in asking him to lie, told him he would be “fixed for life.”

A heartbeat away.


Infidel753 said...

Some might say it's Edwards himself who needs to be "fixed", though in a different sense.

Your overall point is well taken. The percentage of Vice Presidents over the last century who have succeeded to the Presidency is pretty high.

I suppose we should be paying more attention to Joe Biden.

B.J. said...

Joe’s OK, except for putting his foot in his mouth from time to time, but no where near the level of “Bushisms.” His foreign policy expertise was legendary in the Senate (something you would know about, I-753, since you say yours is the Middle East). He brings a lot of solid experience to the table. I, of course, believe Hillary was equally qualified. Let’s put our trust in the Secret Service to protect them all.

Now, if we could just get all those who know absolutely nothing about stare decisis to shut their yaps about Sotomayor’s appellate court record!

Frodo, a SAWB said...

For true? Am Frodo to assume that we're talking about some Andrew Young other than the former UN Ambassador? Frodo has to admit that "two Americas" caught his attention and he believed Edwards had a brain bigger than his dick. He may still, but that doesn't say much for how well he's hung.

B.J. said...

Dear SAWB: No, not the same Andrew Young, who as mayor of Atlanta coined the phrase, “Smart-Ass White Boy.” How could he have known one would settle in the Shire? LOL!

Infidel753 said...

Wouldn't Frodo be a SAHB ("Smart-Ass Hobbit Boy")? Which I guess would make Limbaugh a Stupid Orc Boy (SOB).

Another oddity about the Vice Presidency is that if the office becomes vacant, the President nominates someone to fill it (Congress must confirm), so that the new Vice President was never elected as a member of a ticket. This is how we ended up with Ford as President without his ever having been elected to either office.

Similarly, if Obama were for some reason to be removed from office and Biden became President, he would choose a new Vice President, and that unelected person would then be "a heartbeat away".

But at least we can be pretty confident that Biden would not choose Edwards.

B.J. said...

Love the acronym comment, I-753!

I didn’t mention in the post that Spiro T. Agnew is the only U.S. vice president to step down due to criminal charges.

If we keep this up, we are going to have to demand a clarifying amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Otherwise, this would kick the oomph out of my contention that Nancy Pelosi would have been president if Bush and Cheney had been impeached. They would have had to be impeached simultaneously for that to occur.

So, the “line of succession” only applies if the president and vice president die at the same time? Hence, on 9/11, Cheney was in the bunker and all in line for the presidency were spirited away to a predetermined safe location.

Frodo, by the way, is on a mountaintop in Tennessee with very poor Internet connection, so anyone feel free to let loose with the hobbit jokes. :-) BJ

Infidel753 said...

Well, if Bush had been removed from office and then Cheney had been removed before he had a chance to appoint a new VP and get Congressional confirmation, then presumably it would have been Pelosi. Not an irrelevant consideration at a time when, it seems, any two randomly-chosen prominent Republicans have a nontrivial statistical chance of being caught committing some impeachable offense during any given period of time (heard about Palin?). Also, of course, the examples of Nixon-Agnew and Bush-Cheney suggest that Republican Presidents and Vice Presidents tend to be co-conspirators.

Ranch Chimp said...

Interesting and tasty post DemWit. I actually voted for Bush/Cheney in 2000 as well as many other republican's over the year's.It was Bush/Cheney that changed my voting practices and choices of the 2 mainstream parties...been voting democrat since 2004 so far. I DO NOT trust Cheney,endorse Cheney... nor would piss on the ole boy if he was on fire, and I personally believe that he had more influence in the Oval Office than Bush... and Bush somewhat follow's him unadmittingly as some kind of mentor... he is certainly brighter than Bush... and I believe also that Cheney need's to be investigated still. Nor do I buy all the rubbish about his health problem's... he remind's me of one of those folk's that's alway's ranting that their dying even at 85 and been for the last 50 year's. Enough said......

Thank You........

B.J. said...

Thanks, Ranch Chimp! I agree with you that Cheney was the puppetmaster in the Bush Oval Office. I should have mentioned Palin in my post in a “what if” sort of way. Imagine that woman being a heartbeat away from the presidency. OMG!!! Speaking of puppets, has anyone noticed how much Charles Krauhammer looks like the ventriloquist dummy in “Magic” with Anthony Hopkins???