Monday, October 06, 2008


If we abolish the Vice-Presidency …

Dear Editor:

Bruce Ackerman makes a compelling case that the Vice-presidency is a “design flaw” in the constitutional order created by our founders. But he neglects what the vice-presidential pick tells us in modern elections.

One of the most important things that a President does is to appoint people. The federal government is far too big for one person to run alone, so (according to the Heritage Foundation) a President must make about 3000 appointments, from his nominations of Supreme Court Justices and Cabinet Secretaries to much lower-level government officials. But the only personnel decision that voters get to see before the election is the vice-presidential pick.

So if the vice-presidency is to be abolished, may I suggest that presidential nominees instead nominate all or part of their Cabinet before the election? This would give voters some idea of whom the President would appoint and how he would make decisions. This would also give voters a better idea of what to expect from a President’s administration than they now have. (A similar proposal, but one including a vice-president, was described by the late M. Scott Peck in The Different Drum as a “community presidency”.)
Comments:; You saved my day again.
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