It seems to me that the purpose to any VP (Vice President) candidate, is to provide some balance to the guy who is actually going to be President. In the few years I've been here, I've watched totally spell bound as the whole process of electing a President unfolds. There's drama, tears, laughter (mostly from the other side), copious kissing of babies and shaking of millions of hands (fortunately not in one day!) all in the hopes of being elected to the White House. One of the biggest "pre- Presidential" decisions a candidate has to make is the Veep choice. Technically, I've only been here long enough to witness, first hand, the fun and games of politics, for two administrations. Still, I think that's enough to get the "jist" of things as it were.
The Bush administration had Cheney. It was a interesting choice for many reasons. Mr Cheney seemed to be considered very experienced in politics which would help reassure those folks who were a little concerned about President's Bush competency and ability to lead the country. He was also controversial because of his numerous health issues. As President Bush's term stretched into a second term, there were many whispers by the conspiracy theorists that it was Mr Cheney who was in fact running things, not President Bush. One could forgive them for thinking that especially when Mr Cheney's "hunting mishap" hit the news. "If that's what happens to his friends, what on earth does he do to his enemies!" Of course, it was all poppycock! I do think Mr Cheney did give quite a bit of advice and input with regards to many matters, but I think President Bush, as much as a President can in this country, did run things - for the most part.
In my opinion, they were quite the "couple". One had a debonair way about him and another was clever and politically astute. One could easily get tongue tied and be "misunderestimated" and the other ... well, didn't say much at all, but things seemed to mysteriously happen in his presence. One was a regular feature in SNL's skits, the other was given a wide berth. The perfect compliment to each other!
When President Obama won the nomination of his party to run for president, the late night comics mourned. For eight years they had no shortage of material for their writers. Quite the opposite. They had so much, they spent a lot of time deciding which was the best quote/incident to use. Now here was this incredibly studious man. A man who wouldn't say things like "misunderestimate" and who chose his words very carefully. Then, this careful man, chose for his running mate, Joe Biden. The comedic world rejoiced and thanked the gods of Comedy for ensuring that there would once again be sufficient material to keep the writers busy for those all important monologues they all love to do. Sadly, Mr Biden has been fairly low key. A dropped "F-bomb" here, an unfortunate turn of phrase there. Nothing as dramatic as shooting someone or supposedly running a shadow government. But I do think that Mr Biden does bring balance to the President Obama's ticket. He connects with people with a very easy going "every man" kind of style. He has an air of approachability to him. I suspect he can tell a really mean joke!
It is with great interest that I watch the interaction between Mr Romney and Mr Ryan. I wonder what kind of dynamic Mr Ryan will bring. Will he make it "big" like Mrs Palin did during her time on Mr McCain's ticket and go on to become a big celebrity? Will he be just what Mr Romney needs to get the votes he needs to win the object of his desire? Too early for me to say definitively. I look forward to finding out though.