The Vice President & the
Succession of the President
of the United States
What role should the vice-
president play in our
what role does the
• serve as President if he is unable to
• preside over the Senate (and cast
deciding votes in case of a tie).
• “the most insignificant office that ever the
invention of man contrived or his
– John Adams, 1st Vice President
• “Once there were two brothers. One
ran away to sea; the other was elected
Vice President of the United States.
And nothing was heard of either of
– Thomas R. Marshall, 28th Vice President
growth of the office
• was not until 1933 that the Vice
President was invited to Cabinet
• Harry Truman was kept uninformed on
all war and postwar issues (including
the atomic bomb).
• Richard Nixon reinvented the role of
– presided over Cabinet meetings in
– first VP to temporarily assume control of
executive branch (after Ike had a heart
• fills the gaps in presidential succession.
• determines when a President is unable to
perform his duties.
– president may inform Congress, in writing, that
he is unable to discharge the powers and duties
of his office.
– the VP and majority of the members of the
Cabinet inform Congress, in writing, that the
President is incapacitated.
• do you agree?
• should it be restricted to only elected
• what qualities does the person taking
over the Presidency need? Are there
any positions that might be better