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Will We Have Another Darth Vader?

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Dear Diary, I’m feeling nervous and apprehensive about the vice presidency. Cheney is just so… untouchable. He wields the power of a Sith Lord and yet he loves his dogs. He opposes any kind of Gay rights and yet his own daughter is gay. He’s shot people in the face and came back from the dead… four times. He plants suggestions into the President’s head that have bloomed into wars and billion-dollar contracts. He swears, he skips meetings, he plays favorites. How can ANYONE or ANYTHING (cyborgs, lab animals and aliens included) possibly live up to this Legend?

Sometimes I get around to thinking that John McCain is the koala-bear-hug giving, angry tempered President we never had. On one hand, I think he’s a neat character… But WHAT IS ALL THIS TALK ABOUT STRIPPING AWAY THE POWERS OF THE VICE PRESIDENCY?? Do you really want to go back to the Pre-Mondale Era, where all the vice presidents had to do was sit around on their $200,000/year salaries and complain about how bored they were?? I DON’T! I’d Imagine the next #2 under McCain would be texting like crazy asking, “How do you feel now?” or “Do you need anything from the store, muffin?” or “Hey, just thinkin bout you! Feelin ok?” Sure, McCain’s VEEP would have time to host the annual Easter Egg Roll, have extramarital affairs with pages and interns, read VicePresidents.com, or micromanage all the Rick Santorums or the Conrad Burnses in the Senate… but why bother? (Everyone knows they stink anyway.) I wouldn’t wish this fate on my worst enemy.

Then I wonder what Hillary Clinton‘s VP has to look forward to. I hate to mention the elephant in the room, but… Bill is going to be riding your ass, Mr. Veep! You and I both know it, so you’d better already be BFF’s with the former President because you’re going to be seeing a LOT of him. He might say things like “It’s fate that we assumed this office together,” or “Hey, let’s take a road trip to Hardee’s on First Street” or “Let’s just skip work today and chill with Al… he’s going to plant some trees or something.” I would have thought that Chris Dodd or Bill Richardson would have made a Loyal Clintonite, but it appears they’ve jumped ship already. I guess Bill can be rather annoying. It’s not that Hillary won’t treat her VEEP with respect or give him/her meaningful projects… like Health care or Education… it’s just that Bill can’t help himself. Will Hillary’s vice president understand how difficult it is to live in the limelight after being in the spotlight? Bill will come in with his cheeseburger and sweatpants, laughing garrulously and snatching documents off the Veep’s desk. It’s bound to happen once a day. He’ll spend half the day leering over the VP’s shoulder like a creep-ass — just chatting away, preventing Hill’s #2 from getting any work done and riding shotgun on every excursion. I think John Nance Garner would say that playing second fiddle to the President’s husband “isn’t worth a pitcher of warm spit.”

Barack Obama‘s Vice President would be totally caught up in the hype… with a wide-eyed John Edwards-esque innocence. But I think Obama’s VEEP would have concerns that supercede the normal fears of the VP. Most #2’s are scared of stray bullets coming from Dick Cheney’s rifle, or being caught pants-down with Hannity, Gingrich and O’Reilly lurking in the shadows ready to pounce, or having a video of you sleeping through work show up on Youtube. Obama is unique in that he’s been compared to two iconoclastic individuals — JFK and MLK… both who have been assasinated. While the ultimate goal of any healthy VEEP should be the presidency, no one wants to assume the position under such circumstances. Instead of being welcomed by a nation of applause, the ascending VP would be addressing a nation full of sniffles and teary-eyes on probably one hour of sleep, over the course of four days when he / she hasn’t even had time to procure a proper speech writer. Yet assuming all goes well and the Obama presidency is well received by Manchurian candidates and Clinton supporters, as well as all members of the KKK and Redneck Biker Gangs of America, the vice presidency might still stink. Imagine being unable to take any special interest money at all! Dick made way more off Halliburton and stocks than he could have ever made in the White House. Not to mention, since Obama is such a “NEWB” in Washington, his second-in-command will have to know everything about everything. What if he says “I need a briefing on the history of the Pelopponesian Wars in 5,” or “Would it be prudent to include 27-year-olds in our health care plan?” or “In 500 words or less, should we favor Israel or Palestine? Sticks or carrots? GO!” It could be like salaried work… lots of hours but essentially the same pay as the peons.

Lately Cheney‘s been reveling in his role as Vice President… and rightfully so. He took the office to a level that even flabbergasts Mondale — the first one with an office in the West Wing. Like the loyal comrade that he is, Cheney praises Bush and reiterates that it’s GW who made this whole thing possible. He adds, “It’s a very sort of personal kind of thing, with the president, the time in which he governs.” He adds that there was no real job description, but he was invited into the White House as part of a team and he’s really enjoyed himself in the process (even if they didn’t get to cream Iran too). He thinks it’s funny that people refer to him as “Darth Vader” and he just loves that photoshopped image of himself in leather chaps. (For the record, Lynne loves it too.)

If I could Frankenstein the perfect VEEP for 08, I can just only hope we have someone as tough as Cheney, as hilarious as Quayle, as nefarious as Agnew and as robotic as Gore. So I guess… someone like Robocop? We may never have another Darth Vader, but here at VicePresidents.com, we’re banking on cannon fodder to take us through another tumultuous year of wild antics from the nation’s most underrated job.