Vice President's Power

As written in the constitution, the Vice President is given two duties. Vice President is “An officer ranking next below a president, usually empowered to assume the president's duties under conditions such as absence, illness, or death.” (According to The first of the duties is to preside over the Senate as its President. As the President of the Senate the Vice President does not have a vote unless the vote of the senators is split 50-50. This vote is the deciding vote to break the tie. The second duty of the Vice President is to take over as President of the United States if the President dies, is incapacitated, or resigns. When the Vice President takes over as President in the case of the death or resignation of the President, the Vice President will serve out the remainder of the President’s term. In the case of incapacitation, the Vice President takes over for a period of time until the President is fit to resume his duties.
Dictionary results for: vice-presidents. (n.d.). Retrieved October 22, 2008, from
Monk, L. R. (2000). The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to The Constitution. New York: New York Times Company.
World Book Encyclopedia 2000. (n.d.). World Book, Inc.

Governor Sarah Palin (Alaska) at RNC

Senator Joe Biden (Delaware) at the DNC

Opinion from liberal high school senior from Beaver Country Day School

When Katie Couric asked Governor Sarah Palin about a statement she made about Alaska's close proximity to Russia being an example of her policy experience she didn't say that she was taken out of context, she actually defended herself. One of her defenses was that when Putin travels to the U.S. he has to come through Alaska. Has Palin ever negotioated with the Russians beyond the most basic of trade legislation? She clearly has never traveled there becuase she has only left the country once and that was to Kuwait. If you attend five state and community colleges, that makes you a great American just trying to attain the American Dream, but if you are the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review you're an elitist. This criticism of Obama simply does not make sense. Observers might conclude that Governor Palin is infinitely more mysterious and inexprerienced than Senator Biden. Governor Palin when asked by Couric to name another Supreme Court Case in addition to Roe v. Wade she was unable to do so. Is intellect not important for a Vice President? Most would beleive it is essential. Simply understanding of our nation's history seems rhetorical; people should just know it.

Here is the interview:

Vice Presidential Debate:

On The Issues:


Seeing through Obamanomics

By Jeff Jacoby Globe Columnist / September 14, 2008
external image jeffjacoby.jpg
"ALL THROUGH the spring and summer, opinion polls tracked a growing confidence that Barack Obama could handle the economy better than John McCain. Just before the Democratic convention in August, Gallup had Obama leading McCain on the economy, 54-38 - a 16-point margin. But now Obama's lead has nearly vanished. Gallup's latest numbers show the candidates nearly tied. Just 48 percent say Obama would be more adept at superintending the economy; 45 percent choose McCain.
Looks like voters have started paying attention to Obama's economics.
On Sept. 8, Fox News broadcast an interview between Obama and Bill O'Reilly that focused on taxation and the economy. Obama repeated his pledge to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans, while raising taxes on the tiny fraction who earn more than $250,000.
"That's class warfare," O'Reilly objected. "You're taking the wealthy in America, the big earners . . . you're taking money away from them and you're giving it to people who don't. That's called income redistribution. It's a socialist tenet. Come on, you know that."
"Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill," Obama replied. "Teddy Roosevelt supported a progressive income tax." He acknowledged that he doesn't enjoy paying taxes either - "you think I like writing the check?" - but that "there are certain things we've got to do." His tax proposal, he explained, was a matter of civility:
"If I am sitting pretty and you've got a waitress who is making minimum wage plus tips, and I can afford it and she can't, what's the big deal for me to say, I'm going to pay a little bit more? That's neighborliness." If that is Obama's rationale for making the tax code even more steeply progressive than it already is, it's no wonder voters are having second thoughts about his economic aptitude.
"Neighborliness." Perhaps that word has a nonstandard meaning to someone whose home adjoined the property of convicted swindler Tony Rezko, but extracting money by force from someone who earned it in order to give it to someone who didn't is not usually spoken of as neighborly. If Citizen Obama, "sitting pretty," reaches into his own pocket and helps out the waitress with a large tip, he has shown a neighborly spirit. But there is nothing neighborly about using the tax code to compel someone else to pay the waitress that tip.
Taxation is not generosity, it is confiscation at gunpoint. Does Obama not understand the difference?
Perhaps he doesn't. Eager though he may be to compel "neighborliness" in others, he has not been nearly so avid about demonstrating it himself. Barack and Michelle Obama's tax returns show that from 2000 through 2004, when their adjusted gross income averaged nearly a quarter of a million dollars a year, their annual charitable donations amounted to just $2,154 - less than nine-tenths of 1 percent. Not until he entered the US Senate in 2005 and began to be spoken of as a presidential possibility did the Obamas' "neighborliness" become more evident. (In 2005-2007, they gave 5.5 percent of their income to charity.)
Obama claims his proposal would lower taxes for 95 percent of Americans, but well over 43 million tax returns, one-third of all those filed, already reflect an income tax liability of zero. In fact, Obama says, his plan would eliminate income taxes for an additional 10 million taxpayers. What he is really proposing, therefore, is not tax relief but a bald transfer of cash - $1,000 per family, he pledges - from the wealthiest Americans to everyone else. In 1972, George McGovern advocated something similar - a $1,000 "demogrant" for every US citizen. Just last year, Hillary Clinton suggested that the government start off every new baby with a $5,000 savings account. Voters didn't take the bait when McGovern and Clinton offered it. Here's betting they won't take it now.
Why not? Because you don't have to be rich to be skeptical when a candidate argues that the top 1 percent of taxpayers, who already pay 40 percent of federal income taxes, aren't being taxed enough. Nor do you have to be an economist to wonder about the grasp of a nominee who tells 95 percent of the public that they can have something for nothing. Obamanomics may look pretty at first glance. But voters are focusing more closely now, and they can see beyond the lipstick" (Http://

Prior to watching the first and only vice presidential debate of the season I, and many other Americans had extremely low standards for Governor Sarah Palin. How could you blame us? Palin attended four different colleges en route to a degree in journalism: Hawaii Pacific College, North Idaho Community College, University of Idaho and Matanuska Community College. She is not exactly a Rhodes Scholar! Her interview with Katie Couric was appalling. When asked to name another Supreme Court case in addition to Roe v. Wade she was unable to do so. Couldn't she muster up Brown v. Board of Education, Plessy v. Ferguson, ever Gore v. Bush in 2000. Governor Palin used Alaska's close proximity to Russia as an example of her foreign policy experience although governors don’t have diplomatic responsibilities and Governor Palin has never dealt with Russia as an example of her foreign policy experience although governors don't have diplomatic responsibilities and Governor Palin has never dealt with Russia beyond the most basic trade legislation. This interview was pathetic and embarrassing; thus, the expectations of her performance on a national debate stage were incredibly low.
Joe Biden, senior Senator from the state of Delaware, has not received nearly as much media coverage as Palin. Biden has been a U.S Senator since Sarah Palin was in the second grade. His wealth of executive experience makes him a clearly qualified candidate. He was secretary of the foreign relations committee demonstrating his in-depth knowledge on foreign policy. On the issue of experience, no one can argue that Biden beats out the fledgling Palin. In the debate however, there was no clear winner. Politically it was a tie but substantively Biden was the clear victor.
Because Governor Palin did not make any giant blunders she exceeded expectations. She was clearly well prepared on her areas of expertise: energy, and her ability to connect with the average American voter. Her incessant use of colloquial language probably had success within part of her constituency. She used the phrase "Joe six-pack" in order to appear connected to status quo middle class guys (krumboltz). At the beginning of the debate she asked if she could call Senator Biden "Joe." Her response about the state of Israel and off-shore drilling were her strongest of the evening.
Although Palin made herself seem like an average hockey mom was that was independent voters were looking for in a vice-president? Polls show that that was generally not the case. CNN ran a poll throughout the debate showing the opinions of male and female undecided voters in Ohio. While Palin scored well at times she consistently struggled to rally the support of uncommitted female voters. Perhaps some of these undecided females were previous supports of Senator Hillary Clinton and despised Governor Palins drastically conservative agenda. Any reasonable observer would conclude that Sarah Palin is infinitely more mysterious and inexperienced than Barack Obama. Her defense of the surge received at best a muted response.
In contrast, Sentator Biden received far more positive feedback from Ohio independents. His remarks about suffering the loss of his wife and daughter in a car accident augmented responses from both men and women. His attack on vice-president Cheney was extremely popular, especially his dig at Palin's desire to expand the power of the vice-president after the last eight years of disastrous Cheney decisions. Sentor Biden was also effective in his position on the Middle East stating that Afghanistan is the impetus behind the war on terror. He explained that the troop loss in the country allowed the Taliban to become resurgent and provide shelter for Al-Qaeda to spread their radical ideologies.
Although Senator Biden had more command over specific issues regarding the nation Governor Palin did not make any huge errors and exceeded her low expectations. As a result, politically, the outcome was a draw. Palin surely locked down the conservative base and Biden did the same for the democrats. If Ohio independents really were swayed by Biden's performance then perhaps one can say Biden was the overall winner, but until election day no one can truly know.