Sarah Palin’s Alarming Views on the Vice Presidency

October 21, 2008

Republican ElephantBlogs are buzzing tonight about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s answer to a question regarding the role of the Vice President asked by third-grader Brandon Garcia of the Denver, Colorado area. Brandon’s question was answered during an interview Palin did yesterday with KUSA, an NBC affiliate in Colorado. Okay, brace yourself. . .Ready?


Q: “Brandon Garcia wants to know, ‘What does the Vice President do?’ ”

Palin: “That’s something that Piper would ask me!…They’re in charge of the U.S. 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.”


Actually, the terribly misinformed Palin had something quite similar to say during the 3 October debate with Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.) in St. Louis, Missouri, which was televised from Washington University. According to the CNN transcript, moderator Gwen Ifill of PBS asked each vice presidential candidate about their views on the role of a Vice President. Palin’s answer was…shocking in its naiveté.

Here’s the scoop:

Gwen Ifill, PBSIfill: “Governor, you mentioned a moment ago the Constitution might give the Vice President more power than it has in the past. Do you believe, as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?”

Palin: “Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the Office of the Vice President. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the President’s agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we’ll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation. And it is my executive experience that is partly to be attributed to my pick as V.P. with McCain, not only as a governor, but earlier on as a mayor, as an oil and gas regulator, as a business owner. It is those years of experience on an executive level that will be put to good use in the White House also.”

Ifill [to Biden]: “Vice President Cheney’s interpretation of the vice presidency?”

Senator Joe BidenBiden: “Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous Vice President we’ve had probably in American history. The idea he doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the Vice President of the United States, that’s the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.

“And the primary role of the Vice President of the United States of America is to support the President of the United States of America, give that President his or her best judgment when sought and, as Vice President, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when, in fact, there’s a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.

“The only authority the Vice President has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he’s part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive and look where it has gotten us. It has been very dangerous.”

Someone, anyone, please give this woman a copy of the U.S. Constitution. She doesn’t seem to have substantially increased her knowledge base since at least July, when she was interviewed by Larry Kudlow of CNBC’s “Kudlow & Co.” When Kudlow asked Palin about the possibility that she might become Senator John McCain’s running mate, she answered: “As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me, what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question.”

Doesn’t she remind you of Miss South Carolina? And does Palin lack the initiative to go online and read the Vice President’s job description? Oh, never mind. Here, Sarah. Here’s a copy of the U.S. Constitution. Right here.

Read more political news about Sarah Palin’s “Saturday Night Live” appearance, in which she appeared not to realize that the joke was on her.

Copyright ©2008

Next Page »