Picking the Vice President: A Conversation with Political Strategist Elaine Kamarck
July 29, 2020
Featuring Elaine Kamarck, author of Picking the Vice President. Hosted by Ambassador Swanee Hunt.
From the publisher:
During the past three decades, two important things have changed about the U.S. vice presidency: the rationale for why presidential candidates choose particular running mates, and the role of vice presidents once in office. This is the first major book focusing on both of those elements, and it comes at a crucial moment in American history.
Until 1992, presidential candidates tended to select running mates simply to “balance” the ticket, sometimes geographically, sometimes to guarantee victory in a must-carry state, sometimes ideologically, and sometimes for all three reasons.
Bill Clinton changed that in 1992 when he selected Al Gore as his running mate, saying the experience and compatibility of the Tennessee senator would make him an ideal “partner” in governing.
What enabled this change in the vice presidency was not so much the personal characteristics of recent vice presidents but instead changes in the presidential nomination system.
This book appears as Joe Biden prepares to choose his own running mate. No matter who wins the November 2020 elections, what Elaine Kamarck writes will be of interest to anyone following current affairs, students of American government, and journalists whose job will be to cover the next administration.
Senior fellow in Governance Studies, Brookings
Author, Picking the Vice President
Ambassador Swanee Hunt
Chair, Hunt Alternatives