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Wednesday October 22, 2008 8:45 am

Palin Still Doesn’t Know What the Vice President Does

Posted by Cecilia Categories: Elections, Law,

Sarah Palin

For the fourth time in three months, Sarah Palin has demonstrated that she still does not understand the duties of the Vice President of the United States.

This all began on July 31, 2008 when Palin said that she’s still waiting for someone to tell her what exactly it is that the Vice President does every day. On October 2, 2008, at the Vice Presidential Debate, Palin said that the prior question had been a misunderstood joke, and went on to state that not only is the Vice President the leader of the Senate, but that the constitution would allow the VP more authority when working with the Senate if the VP chose to take it. The following day she stated that the President directs the duties of the VP. She also recognized that the VP’s position in the legislative branch is only to oversee the Senate, but contradicted that by adding that this position provides “flexibility” and “authority” if the VP seeks it. And finally, answering third-grader Brandon Garcia’s question, “What does the Vice President Do?”, Palin began with the correct answer: support the President’s agenda. But she had to go on:

But also, they’re in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to they can really get in there with the Senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom. And it’s a great job and I look forward to having that job.

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When it only takes me a few minutes to verify how wrong every one of her answers are, we’ve got a problem. The Vice Presidential duties are minimal, and can be found in four sections of the United States Constitution. In summary, the Vice President is the leader of the Senate (but does not vote unless there is a tie) and replaces the President in the case of death, resignation, inability to serve as designated, or impeachment. The VP’s term ends on January 20th at noon of the year the term expires. That’s it as far as the Constitution is concerned. The main question is, why couldn’t Palin learn this over the last three months? And why weren’t McCain’s advisers prepping her for this very simple question?

I feel compelled to point out that when you or I apply for a new job, it’s generally expected, at minimum,  that we have some idea of what the job entails. If we were to overstep our boundaries by assuming authority that didn’t belong to us, I highly doubt that we’d be seriously considered for the job.



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