Dan McLaughlin: The Vice Presidential Stakes

Ten of the last twenty presidents, dating back to 1900, have been forced from office or come close: one was forced to resign (Nixon), one was impeached (Clinton), two were assassinated (Kennedy and McKinley), one was shot (Reagan), one was shot at twice in three weeks (Ford), two died in office of natural causes (FDR and Harding), one was incapacitated by a stroke (Wilson), and one nearly died of a massive heart attack (Eisenhower).

Romney - Ryan 2012

Romney – Ryan 2012 (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

I’ve been staying away from the presidential election for all the obvious reasons: the contenders are part of the same group that’s been leading us into slavery for years: two wings of the same bird of prey, as some wag cleverly stated. Besides, the real action is in the House and the Senate, in my opinion, as well as on the state and local levels.

So I could care less about who Mittens picks for vice president. It won’t matter anyway as the vice president never gets to influence policy.

But McLaughlin has challenged me to consider the chances of the vice president taking over the presidency. That possibility gets me excited. And the are quite remarkable. After iterating additional statistics to show how important the vice president position could become, McLaughlin sums it up:

All of which is a way of saying that ’s choice of a running mate could have very important repercussions whether or not that choice makes much on the outcome of the 2012 election.

Romney seems to be a man of unusual health, vigor and personal ethics, and so less likely than most to leave the Oval Office before his term is out if he’s elected, but he’s also 65 years old; things happen.

Indeed, they do.

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