Amid all of the political posturing and handicapping that’s going on following the recent choices of vice presidential candidates, let’s remember what’s most important: One of these men could be forced into being president one day.
There’s a lot to chew on in Republican George W. Bush’s selection of Dick Cheney and Democrat Al Gore’s anointment of Joseph Lieberman. Cheney comes equipped with a glossy resumé of government service, yet also some political baggage that opponents love to make hay with. And Lieberman has the attention of pundits because of his Jewish faith and his outspoken criticism of the sex scandals of Gore’s boss, President Clinton.
But remember this: After all the campaign rhetoric has been replaced by votes, either Bush-Cheney or Gore-Lieberman will be in office. And Cheney or Lieberman will be, as the saying goes, a heartbeat away from the presidency. Between now and election day in November, they should be viewed more in that context than for what they bring to their party’s ticket. A vice president’s ability to govern outweighs everything else.