Vice presidents and foreign policy

The World

Well serving as FDR’s vice president, the VP declared that the office of VP wasn’t worth a bucket of warm spit. And George H.W. Bush felt similarly during his time as Reagan’s VP. This former White House official says the VP used to serve a primarily ceremonial function, having to attend funerals for other foreign leaders and the such. But since the end of the Cold War and 9/11, the role of VP has grown. This analyst says that’s a good thing. She says key officials in administrations should be learned and well equipped when it comes to foreign policy and other difficult issues. But that means VP candidates are also coming under greater scrutiny. Some say Palin has been unfairly criticized for her lack of foreign policy credentials and that Obama is even more troubling. This analyst says women candidates for high office have always been held to different expectations than men, and she says the McCain camp is partly to blame for the attention on Palin’s foreign policy experience. Then there’s the sharp contrast between Palin’s experience and that of Biden, who can boast of being on a first name basis with many foreign leaders and diplomats. This analyst maintains that familiarity with foreign leaders has never been the be-all when judging whether someone is equipped to deal with foreign policy issues. Some would argue that for those who are responsible for the bigger issue things like world peace, it helps to have a background to the issue.

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