My Favorite Vice President
My Favorite Vice President
The Vice Presidency of the United States is often viewed, and often rightly so, as a useless position. Recent Vice Presidents have run the gamut from competent (George Bush I) to goofy (Al Gore) to scary (Dick Darth Vader Cheney) and back to goofy. (Joe Biden)
At certain junctures in history, Vice Presidents have been elevated to the presidency, by succession or election and resignation. Some have been capable – Truman and Bush I. Some were loathsome scoundrels – L. Baines Johnson. And one was a steaming pile of nothing - Gerald Ford.
I have a lot of admiration for both Harry S. Truman and George Bush (I). But neither is my favorite VP. Neither did awesome things as VP.
So who does that leave, Millard Fillmore’s Vice President?
How about the third Vice President of the United States?: Aaron Burr.
Soldier – Attorney –Attorney General –Vice President – Duelist-Adventurer – Land Speculator
Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson, in one of those quirky elections, tied for electoral votes. In the early republic the Vice President did not run on the same ticket as the President, but was the electoral runner up. Alexander Hamilton had a major role in getting enough electors to choose Thomas Jefferson. If not for Hamilton, young’uns might learn about President Burr, but that wasn’t to be.
Some might argue that Alexander Hamilton’s treatment of Burr was a result of their former law partnership. I would counter that with the fact that Alexander Hamilton was a shitskin.
Burr and Jefferson were not peas and carrots, but Jefferson thought Burr was honest and competent, and complemented Burr on his presiding over the first Senate Impeachment trial, of Justice Samuel Chase. On the flip side, Jefferson “intimated” that Burr was not altruistic, a charge that was born out in the days after Burr’s Vice Presidency.
In the modern era, Burr is most famous for his duel with Alexander Hamilton. As I alluded to earlier, Hamilton was sleezy, and Burr did the nation a favor. Hamilton insulted Burr on a steady basis, often hiding behind a nom de guerre as a pamphleteer. At some point Burr had had enough, and challenged Hamilton to the famous duel at Weehawken. Hamilton missed with his shot. Often, an opposing duelist would fire into the ground when his opponent missed. Not Burr. He then took a careful aim at Hamilton, and 10 ringed him in the chest area.
After dispatching the slanderous Hamilton, Burr found his political career to be over. He then tried a variety of ventures, some of which included trying to start his own country.
In his later years I could add scoundrel to his titles and adjectives – but he was a man’s man, a man of action, and could handle a dueling pistol. What more could you want from a Vice President?
If you surrender a civilization to avoid social disapproval, you should know that all of history will curse you for your cowardliness - Alice Teller
If John of Patmos would browse the internet today for half an hour, I don't know if the Book of Revelations would be entirely different or entirely the same.
Last edited by Mohican; 07-10-2014 at 11:37 AM..