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In the coming days, Democrat Joe Biden announces his deputy, and if he wins on November 3 against his opponent, Donald Trump, she will become the first woman to hold this position in US history.

What is the role of the vice president?

There is a joke that is circulating in the United States, according to which a woman had two children, one of whom became a sailor, and the second was a vice president of the United States, so the first and second news were interrupted.

In short, this is the concept of this position for the American people. But over the past decades this image has changed, and the position has gained importance and influence in the Oval Office.

The constitution gives the vice president a limited role, as it stipulates that he will assume the presidency of the Senate, but he is not authorized to vote, unless the 100 members of the House are unable to take a decision.

It also states that he shall replace the President in the event of his death or resignation. In these circumstances, nine Vice Presidents assumed the office of President, the last of which, Lyndon Johnson, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford, after the resignation, Richard Nixon, of the Watergate scandal.

“Even if these roles remain, they do not really reflect the duties of the vice president today,” Joel Goldstein, a law professor at St. Louis University, told AFP.

The vice president was for a long time away from the executive branch, because his office was in the Senate. The change in substance and form began during the reign of President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) who devoted a permanent real position to the West Wing of the White House.

Since then, no one has changed this site and the Vice President’s office has become between the Secretary-General and the National Security Adviser. In addition, he has direct access to the President’s office, and the symbolism of this matter is great.

What is the vice president’s power?

Goldstein says the contemporary vice president is a “senior advisor on all topics”.

Ronald Reagan relied heavily on familiarity with George Bush Sr., former ambassador to the United Nations and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in foreign policy. In turn, Bill Clinton relied on Al Gore to fight several political battles.

Thanks to this position, Dick Cheney has crossed a major threshold, according to a number of observers, as his influence, especially after the September 11 attacks, has expanded to the point where questions are being raised about the role of President George W. Bush.

“President Cheney said I was the worst president he knew. And what is funny is that I think he was the worst vice president I have known,” said former President Barack Obama, ridiculed this issue during reporters’ dinner at the White House.

How does Joe Biden see the role of Vice President?

During the 19th and the first half of the twentieth century, the presidential candidate does not choose his deputy, but his party does. Therefore, the issue of intellectual convergence or the transmission of ideas is not included in the equation.

After World War II, this relationship developed to become more coherent.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden surpassed a new barrier, after they showed true harmony during their eight-year cooperation.

Biden made it clear that he is looking to develop such a relationship with the woman who will serve as vice president.

More than two decades ago he said, John Adams, the first vice president in US history who bitterly complained about his role in a letter he sent to his wife, Abigail. “My country has designed me despite its wisdom, the most trivial position a mind can imagine,” it read.

Women and the presidency

The United States has held 58 elections in its history, and no woman has ever been elected President or Vice-President.

Biden announced in March that he would choose his deputy if he wins the presidential vote.
“Many women have privileges that will empower them in the future to take over as vice president. I will choose a woman in this position,” he said during a televised debate with his former opponent, Bernie Sanders.

Two candidates before him had made the same move, Democrat Walter Mondale with Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Republican John McCain with Sarah Palin in 2008.

“The difference this time is that it is the first time that a candidate is considered the favorite and has the real chances of winning a woman,” Goldstein said.


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