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Veeps Run the Senate, Palin Tells Third-Grader

By Juliet Eilperin
FINDLAY, Ohio -- When asked about the role of the vice president yesterday, GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin gave an expansive interpretation of the legislative role and indicated she would be "in charge of the United States Senate" after taking office.

During an interview with KUSA at Denver International Airport, the reporter relayed a question from a Colorado elementary-school student, Brandon Garcia, who wanted to know what the vice president does.

"Aw, that's something that Piper would ask me as a second-grader, also," Palin said, referring to her youngest daughter. "That's a great question Brandon. And a vice president has a really great job, because not only are they there to support president's agenda, they're like the team member, the teammate to that president. But also, they're in charge of the United States 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. And its a great job, and I look forward to having that job."

While the vice president technically serves as the president of the Senate, and under the Constitution has the power to break a tie vote in the upper chamber, the second in command does not actually run the Senate. That role is left to the Senate majority leader.

In an e-mail, Palin spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt wrote that the Alaska governor was framing the job so that elementary students could grasp her explanation of how the federal government works.

"Governor Palin was responding to a third-grader's inquiry," Schmitt wrote. "She was explaining in terms a third-grader could understand that the vice-president is also president of the U.S. Senate."

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 22, 2008; 11:03 AM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Sarah Palin  
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Comments

it is humorous that everyone who posts the truth here gets called "JakeD". At least the anonymous posts are gone.

Posted by: JakeD | October 22, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

jpk1, it is NOT "vapid nonsense" that the Vice President is PRESIDENT and Presiding Officer of the Senate. See, Constitution, U.S. and Senate Rules (link below). This thread is not about "torture."

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

The Internet is a series of tubes!

The Vice President runs the Senate!

It's legal to torture prisoners!

You know, it will be refreshing merely to have senior members of our government who don't spout vapid nonsense. Just that will be nice.

Posted by: jpk1 | October 22, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

It's worth a shot (who knows how many unnamed lurkers I could convince)? Sarah Palin is exactly right on this. Some VPs don't take their Constitutional duties that seriously. Others have, and hopefully VP Palin does starting on January 20th.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

markinaustin-
You are wasting precious time trying to convince readers of this post and the real world outside of Rush and Fox News that Sarah Palin accurately described what the Unites States Constitution says about the office of Vice President. C'mon now and just admit that, though she might be well intentioned, she really doesn't know what the --- she is talking about half of the time. Go out and ask 5 "liberal" constitutional scholars and 5 "conservative" constitutional scholars -- I'll bet you would get 8 to 9 against Palin's and your interpretation. Now go out and recruit some more true believers in "real America," who would certainly never read the Washington Post!

Posted by: khofgard | October 22, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

patrick and solesenz, did you see my posts? At the very least, look at the link to Senate Rules specifiying exactly what the PRESIDING OFFICER does.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

It'd a basic high school civics lesson. She must have been in basketball practice.

The President of the Senate has only one function. To show up and break a tie vote. The Vice-President can then go to work, voting on the bill and breaking the tie so it passes 51-50.

That is it! They don't do anything else. The Senate is run by party leaders who are elected to the those jobs.

Remember, the Vice President is not a senator and represents none of the states. It is assumed the VP will vote along party lines. Otherwise the Senate has nothing to do with the Vice President.

Cheney never leaves his office to go to the Senate except for several days of the year, if at all.

She gave this same explanation right after she was nominated. I was guffawing back then when I listened to her.

Ask Mitt Romney, Joe Lieberman and Mike Huckabee what they think of her qualifications and awareness. Especially after they have shared a case of beer.

Ha ha ha ha........!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: patrick10 | October 22, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want her anywhere near my kids! And she's the V.P. choice? Not even knowing who does what, but thinking she needs to be in charge of everything. Kinda reminds me of the President reading a child's book to kids, while our Country was being attacked for over 2 hours, but he wants to be the decider and the dictator. She needs to stay in Alaska!

Posted by: solsenz | October 22, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

this was just obama media doing its one sidded job there was no comparison between how much both partys spend on clothing it was just a one side attack and what ever she told some chidren is nothing
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm not voting for someone wearing a chep suit. The guy is running for president for chrissakes. So is it safe to assume McCain, being the maverick, wear's suits Cindy picks for him off the rack from J.C Penneys?

You're missing the point my firend. If she was Cindy and spent that kind of money no one would think twice about it.

But Palin perpetrates the image she drives the kids to soccer practice in a Dodge Caravan and wears Nike sweats and shoes while she yaks with all the other mom's on the sidelines. Maybe discussing the best stain remover for grass and mud stains on uniforms.

She is bogus. Go look at her expenditures for billing per diem to the state of Alaska while she is sleeping in her own home. Go look at her billing the state of alaska for flying her kids to the lower 48 and paying room and board, because the kiddie's were invited.

The money isn't the issue. She is bogus. She is actually quite ordinary. She may even make a good governor someday if she doesn't get tossed out of office for misuse of funds and other ethical issues.

Posted by: patrick10 | October 22, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Of course she will admit it was God's Will if she and McCain don't win. Please see my posts below, and let me know why you think she didn't accurately describe the job of Vice President.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

No I think third graders understand what the job is better than she does. Like Hillary, she has made this same comment earlier in an interview. To an adult. It's on YouTube somewhere. Right after she went to the convention.

Hey if you are going to apply for a job as a dishwasher you are under some obligation to understand at least what the job consists of.

She is so ridiculously out of her league she should feel embarassed. And McCain and the Republican party bigwigs ought to feel ashamed for perpetrating this sham on the voters.

She announced in the Dobson interview God will make the election right. By anyone else's logic she is obligated to admit God didn't want her in the white House when McCain loses the election.

But she is a fundamentalist Christian so therefore she will be able to rationalize the loss anyway she wants to.

Fundamentalists are the best rationalizers in the world.

They are taught rationalizations in between being taught how to color sheep and lambs with color crayons in Sunday School. That is how fundamental it is to their religion. Indoctrinate and program their little minds early on and you have a die hard True Believer for life.

Maybe even a Vice-President someday if it's in God's Plan.

Posted by: patrick10 | October 22, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

joe thinks his job is to show up and tell obama how to run the white house

Posted by: getsix1 | October 22, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

did anyone notice that the price of obamas custom suits. it did not get reported this was just obama media doing its one sidded job there was no comparison between how much both partys spend on clothing it was just a one side attack and what ever she told some chidren is nothing so why did they send biden home and why has he not given any media time why are they hiding joe

Posted by: getsix1 | October 22, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

HughBriss:

By all means, please point out for the class how "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate" does not mean they are "in charge"?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

What Sarah Palin lacks as a constitutional scholar, she more than makes up for as a world-class shopper.

Shop, Baby, Shop!

Posted by: HughBriss | October 22, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The headline "Veeps Run the Senate" is much closer to "in charge of" but why not just quote her actual words? Given our history, some Presidents of the Senate have been proactive, like Adams or Agnew, and some have not, like Cheney. Are you saying you WANTED Cheney to preside daily?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"In charge of" does not mean "control". She would only have the tie-breaking vote, for instance.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Silly, confused barbie doll Sarah! In her conservative fantasyland, she beleives she will control the senate! She hasn't learned anything since they scooped her up from the boondocks. Having a foolish person like her in charge of anything is a scary thought indeed. The only thing she will come away with on November 4th is some expensive clothes and a bad reputation.
Republicans think Americans are stupid enough to vote them back in office?
With this dimwit duo as our leaders?
Give me a break.

Posted by: tommyd60 | October 22, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Funny thing is, the McCain campaign is saying that Palin was framing this in terms a 3rd grader would understand....
but really, what does a 3rd grader know about the Senate, and what the Senate actually does.....

she should have stuck to her old answer and said she doesn't really know what the VP does....she's worthless....

Posted by: jbauda | October 22, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

kindergarten is now in session:

SHE'S AN IDIOT!

nap time.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 22, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Pretty yes, but dumber than a sack of hammers....Sort of like a good hooker.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | October 22, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"RETARTED"? I do enjoy keylime pie.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

MarkInAustin YOU ARE RETARTED!!!! IF McCain and Palin had half the brain my 9 year old son has, they might have stood a chance in this election. They are idiots and so are you if you think these people should be anywhere near the US Government or even a manager at McDonalds. Neither of them has not even displayed and original thought. And if that's not scary to you. I'm going to pray for you.

Posted by: CharismaSpeaks | October 22, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the majority leader the one that set the Senate's agenda? I am an Italian citizen, but I studied American Constitutional Law in Italy.Am I wrong?

Posted by: BFranco | October 22, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Please, Mark/Jake/wp, let it go. I could be declared President of the Washington Post boards, but that doesn't mean I have any control over them. Just because you have a title like "President" doesn't mean you actually control anything. The Constitution grants that power, and the Constitution says no one is in charge of the Senate.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 22, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

She is a drag on the Republican ticket

Posted by: BFranco | October 22, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

CharismaSpeaks, what part of "President of the Senate" don't you understand?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

THIS IS OUTRAGOUS. I GOING TO NEED HER TO RETAKE HER GOVERMENT HISTORY CLASS!!!! ASAP AND SIT HER BUTT DOWN SOMEWHERE. WHAT IS THE WORLD DOES THESE REPUBLICANS HAVE UP THEIR SLEEVE. THIS IS STARTING TO WORRY ME NOW.

Posted by: CharismaSpeaks | October 22, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Ha. That's tremendous spin. Maybe you are a McCain campaign employee after all.

Picking two Vice Presidents out of over 200 years of history (one of whom cast a lot of deciding votes, and one of whom, despite your best spin efforts, hardly influenced legislation) is specious reasoning at best. Try again.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 22, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"...they're" = Vice Presidents

"in charge" = preside over, and in the event of a tie, cast the deciding vote

"of the United States Senate" = the upper House of Congress

"so if they want to" = as John Adams did

"they can really get in there with the senators " = Agnew gave speeches to, and even lobbied Senators, on the floor of the Senate

"and make a lot of good policy changes..."

Indirectly, as much as he/she can convince the Sentators, or (again) directly, with every tie vote cast.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

WHICH WORDS ARE YOU HAVING DIFFICULTY UNDERSTANDING:

"...they're in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to, they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes..."

PRESIDENT DOES NOT EQUAL "IN CHARGE OF". PRESIDENT DOES NOT EQUAL "MAKE A LOT OF GOOD POLICY CHANGES".

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 22, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

thor2 and Man/BoyUnitedFan, let's back up and find out which exact word(s) are you having difficulties understanding:

PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The point isn't whether or not the Vice President casts tie breaking votes, because he does. That's his Constitutional job. The point is that casting the tie breaking vote and calling session into order does not make him "in charge." Nor do they get involved in crafting policy.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 22, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

If you're dumb as a door knob then every question is a gotcha question regardless who it came from.

Posted by: thor2 | October 22, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

SanjoyDas, if you really think that came from a real third grader, I've got a bridge to nowhere to sell you.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

There are always some problems, even if you are "in charge." I mean, just look at the Washington Post, who is "in charge" here?

Agnew presided more frequently than had any vice president since Alben Barkley. Of course, another problem arose when he had to resign. But John Adams cast twenty-nine tie-breaking votes. That's nothing to sneeze at.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Damn these liberal third graders and their "gotcha!" questions!

Posted by: SanjoyDas | October 22, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

thor2, which word are you having difficulties understanding:

PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

That actually sounds like Agnew wasn't "in charge." At all.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 22, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I guess she is back to square one with her question: "What is it that the VP does on a daily bases?". Nobody has told her yet. Makes you question the competence of McCain and his campaign staff.

I am Sarah Palin and I am not smarter than a third grader, also.

Posted by: thor2 | October 22, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

VP Agnew was asked by Nixon to use his position as presiding officer of the Senate to get to know the members of Congress in order to serve as their liaison with the White House, and Agnew enthusiastically charged up Capitol Hill. Having had no previous legislative experience, he wanted to master the techniques of presiding over the Senate. For the first months of his vice-presidency, he met each morning with the Senate parliamentarian, Floyd Riddick, to discuss parliamentary procedures and precedents. "He took pride in administering the oath to the new senators by never having to refer to a note," Riddick observed. "He would study and memorize these things so that he could perform without reading." According to Riddick, Spiro Agnew presided more frequently than had any vice president since Alben Barkley.

"I was prepared to go in there and do a job as the President's representative in the Senate," said Agnew, who busily learned to identify the senators by name and face. Of course, there were some problems. Agnew had prepared a four-minute speech to give in response to a formal welcome from Majority Leader Mike Mansfield. When Mansfield moved that the vice president be given only two minutes to reply, Agnew felt "it was like a slap in the face." In fact, during the debate over the ABM (Anti-Ballistic-Missile) Treaty, Agnew approached Idaho Republican Senator Len Jordan and famously asked how he was going to vote ON THE SENATE FLOOR.

Sounds like Agnew was "in charge" to me.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

ManUnitedFan, it's not just JakeD. Those like wp086 have clearly read U.S. history. Did you at least try looking through the rules? I posted a link. Or, try here:

http://frwebgate5.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/PDFgate.cgi?WAISdocID=693140505595+5+2+0&WAISaction=retrieve

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

roberthall1, VP John Adams played a crucial role in the title our President of the United States would have. He voted 28 or 29 times (to break the tie). Read a history book sometime.som

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Thus far, none of those rules involve the Vice President doing anything with policy or being in charge of anything, Jake. That's all administrative crap that has no bearing on anything. So the fact remains, the Vice President DOES NOT "get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes," EVEN IF the VP decided to do all of these things you're talking about (which he/she never would).

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 22, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Take a look, especially, at RULE 19 (DEBATE) and RULE 20 (QUESTIONS OF ORDER).

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

RULE XII
VOTING PROCEDURE

1. When the yeas and nays are ordered, the names of Senators shall be called alphabetically; and each Senator shall, without debate, declare his assent or dissent to the question, unless excused by the Senate; and no Senator shall be permitted to vote after the decision shall have been announced by the [VICE PRESIDENT], but may for sufficient reasons, with unanimous consent, change or withdraw his vote. No motion to suspend this rule shall be in order, nor shall the [VICE PRESIDENT] entertain any request to suspend it by unanimous consent.

2. When a Senator declines to vote on call of his name, he shall be required to assign his reasons therefor, and having assigned them, the [VICE PRESIDENT] shall submit the question to the Senate: "Shall the Senator for the reasons assigned by him, be excused from voting?" which shall be decided without debate; and these proceedings shall be had after the rollcall and before the result is announced; and any further proceedings in reference thereto shall be after such announcement.

3. A Member, notwithstanding any other provisions of this rule, may decline to vote, in committee or on the floor, on any matter when he believes that his voting on such a matter would be a conflict of interest.

4. No request by a Senator for unanimous consent for the taking of a final vote on a specified date upon the passage of a bill or joint resolution shall be submitted to the Senate for agreement thereto until after a quorum call ordered for the purpose by the [VICE PRESIDENT], it shall be disclosed that a quorum of the Senate is present; and when a unanimous consent is thus given the same shall operate as the order of the Senate, but any unanimous consent may be revoked by another unanimous consent granted in the manner prescribed above upon one day's notice.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

RULE X
SPECIAL ORDERS

1. Any subject may, by a vote of two-thirds of the Senators present, be made a special order of business for consideration and when the time so fixed for its consideration arrives the [VICE PRESIDENT] shall lay it before the Senate, unless there be unfinished business in which case it takes its place on the Calendar of Special Orders in the order of time at which it was made special, to be considered in that order when there is no unfinished business. 2. All motions to change such order, or to proceed to the consideration of other business, shall be decided without debate.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

RULE VI
QUORUM - ABSENT SENATORS MAY BE SENT FOR

1. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Senators duly chosen and sworn.

2. No Senator shall absent himself from the service of the Senate without leave.

3. If, at any time during the daily sessions of the Senate, a question shall be raised by any Senator as to the presence of a quorum, the [VICE PRESIDENT] shall forthwith direct the Secretary to call the roll and shall announce the result, and these proceedings shall be without debate.

4. Whenever upon such roll call it shall be ascertained that a quorum is not present, a majority of the Senators present may direct the Sergeant at Arms to request, and, when necessary, to compel the attendance of the absent Senators, which order shall be determined without debate; and pending its execution, and until a quorum shall be present, no debate nor motion, except to adjourn, or to recess pursuant to a previous order entered by unanimous consent, shall be in order.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

dpc2003, that not all VP Agnew did. Read through the Rules sometime.

RULE IV
COMMENCEMENT OF DAILY SESSIONS

1. (a) The [VICE PRESIDENT] having taken the chair, following the prayer by the Chaplain, and after the [VICE PRESIDENT], or a Senator designated by the [VICE PRESIDENT], leads the Senate from the dias in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States, and a quorum being present, the Journal of the preceding day shall be read unless by nondebatable motion the reading shall be waived, the question being, "Shall the Journal stand approved to date?", and any mistake made in the entries corrected. Except as provided in subparagraph (b) the reading of the Journal shall not be suspended unless by unanimous consent; and when any motion shall be made to amend or correct the same, it shall be deemed a privileged question, and proceeded with until disposed of.

(b) Whenever the Senate is proceeding under paragraph 2 of rule XXII, the reading of the Journal shall be dispensed with and shall be considered approved to date.

(c) The proceedings of the Senate shall be briefly and accurately stated on the Journal. Messages of the President in full; titles of bills and resolutions, and such parts as shall be affected by proposed amendments; every vote, and a brief statement of the contents of each petition, memorial, or paper presented to the Senate, shall be entered.

(d) The legislative, the executive, the confidential legislative proceedings, and the proceedings when sitting as a Court of Impeachment, shall each be recorded in a separate book.

2. During a session of the Senate when that body is in continuous session, the [VICE PRESIDENT] shall temporarily suspend the business of the Senate at noon each day for the purpose of having the customary daily prayer by the Chaplain.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

It's like talking to a wall. The good news for all of us that are not JakeD is that Sarah Palin isn't going to be Vice President. So this debate is moot. She can go back to Alaska and study up for her failed run at the Presidency in 2012.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 22, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Can the Governor share with us an example of a V-P making policy with the Senate in the V-P's role as presiding officer? In the 220 year history of the office there must be one. Governor, please help.

Posted by: roberthall1 | October 22, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Nice try JakeD. Suppose I stipulate the VP is "in charge" of the Senate.

Palin said " But also, they're in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to, they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes...".

Now, her statement amounts to an assertion that being "in charge" permits the VP to "eally get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes".

The statement amounts to a falsehood: the preposition "if A then B" is false unless both A and B are true.

B is demonstrably not true: Palin has absolutely no ability to "make policy changes" good or otherwise. Her role of presiding is limited to enforcing certain rules of debate.

I can agree to stipulate the definition of "preside" and still prove she's wrong, since "B" does not follow from "A".

QED

Posted by: dpc2003 | October 22, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"In the ABSENCE of the Vice President"

Exactly my point. No doubt, Dick Cheney has not exercised as much power that he Constitutionally has as President of the Senate. That doesn't mean VP Palin won't. Read through these Senate Rules, replacing the words "Presiding Officer" or "President Pro Tempore" with SARAH PALIN:

http://rules.senate.gov/senaterules/

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

VP Agnew was asked by Nixon to use his position as presiding officer of the Senate to get to know the members of Congress in order to serve as their liaison with the White House, and Agnew enthusiastically charged up Capitol Hill. Having had no previous legislative experience, he wanted to master the techniques of presiding over the Senate. For the first months of his vice-presidency, he met each morning with the Senate parliamentarian, Floyd Riddick, to discuss parliamentary procedures and precedents. "He took pride in administering the oath to the new senators by never having to refer to a note," Riddick observed. "He would study and memorize these things so that he could perform without reading." According to Riddick, Spiro Agnew presided more frequently than had any vice president since Alben Barkley.

"I was prepared to go in there and do a job as the President's representative in the Senate," said Agnew, who busily learned to identify the senators by name and face. Of course, there were some problems. Agnew had prepared a four-minute speech to give in response to a formal welcome from Majority Leader Mike Mansfield. When Mansfield moved that the vice president be given only two minutes to reply, Agnew felt "it was like a slap in the face." In fact, during the debate over the ABM (Anti-Ballistic-Missile) Treaty, Agnew approached Idaho Republican Senator Len Jordan and famously asked how he was going to vote ON THE SENATE FLORR.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Read the Constitution of the United States sometime. Don't feel like it? Let me copy and paste it for you:

Article 1, Section 3:

"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States."

That's it. That's all. That's the sole job of the Vice President, minus taking over the presidency should something happen to the President.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 22, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

John Adams basically convinced the Senate that having an activist VP was a bad idea. Adams FAR overreached the powers of the VP as defined in the very Federalist Papers quoted below.

Why the heck do you think the VP has its limited role today? Did anything, anything at all happen between Adams and Cheney? Are we permitted to learn from mistakes, or must we continue to repeat them over and over?

Face it: on this issue, as so many, many others, Sarah Palin does not know what she's talking about.

Posted by: dpc2003 | October 22, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I guess the Constitution is "irrelevant" too. No one said she would be like the Speaker of the House. I believe most right-thinking Americans realize that "Presiding Officer" indeed equates to "being in charge". As always YMMV.

Posted by: JakeD | October 22, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

By the way, wp086, the passage you cite clearly indicates that the VP should NOT be considered a member of the Senate, and that their role there is to 1) preside and 2) break tie votes.

Cheney doesn't preside over the Senate very often, mainly because that's not where the real work gets done: it gets done in committee, and the VP is not on those because THEY'RE NOT A MEMBER OF THE SENATE.

Cheney's power grab was of EXECUTIVE power, and it's source was the Presidency, not the Senate. Bush basically let the guy run wild the first 4 years of his administration.

Palin is remarkably ill-informed on this issue.

Posted by: dpc2003 | October 22, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

You Obama voters are IGNORANT of American history. Read about our very first Vice President, John Adams, sometime.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 22, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,
Technically, you are full of crap. Palin is not right, she is wrong. The passage quoted above in the Federalist Papers is irrelevant. As President of the Senate, the VP has almost no power in the Senate. The ONLY way Palin could effect "policy changes" is by meeting with senators privately. By the way, the Senate does not produce "policy" it produces "laws". I don't think Palin is aware of the differences between "policy", "regulation", and "law".


The Senate elects a President pro tempore who *usually* presides over the office. That person is usually the Majority Leader. The responsibility is often delegated to freshmen senators. The presiding officer sits in a chair in the front of the Senate chamber. The powers of the presiding officer of the Senate are far less extensive than those of the Speaker of the House. The presiding officer calls on Senators to speak (by the rules of the Senate, the first Senator who rises is recognized); ruling on points of order (objections by Senators that a rule has been breached, subject to appeal to the whole chamber); and announcing the results of votes.

The VP cannot speak on the floor. The VP does not sit in committee. The VP is constrained by the Senate Rules to be nothing more than a Parlimentarian.

Being "in charge" implies authority to direct the actions of the Senate. The VP has none.

Palin is an embarrasment. She and O'Reilly should write revisionist books together.

Posted by: dpc2003 | October 22, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I think my most frequent reaction to the McCain campaign's "explanations" has to be:
"What do you take me for?"

Posted by: zukermand | October 22, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

JakeD is just a lawyer

To lawyers, there is no truth--just arguement.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 22, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Sorry JakeD, your defense of Palin's definition of the V.P. job just lost you more credibility points.

If an average American citizen were to give the answer that Palin did, then most political pundits would give them a pass. But Palin is running for the job of VP and should know what it entails.

Could you imagine a person with a biology degree interviewing for a job as Cardiologist at a hospital explaining to their kid that the job entails running the hospital?!

It is sad to see and say, but I see now why Palin's 19 year old son went into the military and her 17-year old pregnant daughter is dropping out of high school. Education is something that is not pushed in the Palin household. I hope Piper gets a better education than her older siblings.

Posted by: AJ2008 | October 22, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Robert De Niro endorses Barack Obama
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akApqZPnyf4

Robert DeNiro imagines he's elmo!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqHfser_9_s

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: cooday | October 22, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

No, technically she's NOT correct, Jake. The Vice President is NOT in charge of the Senate. They do NOT "get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes." Casting the tie-breaking vote (which is an extreme rarity) isn't the same as being "in charge."

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 22, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

It wasn't a question of "whether" but "when". She gave a similar answer during the VP debate and everyone let it slide. I'd say she's "DAY ONE READY" once she reads the constitution. I hope, gosh darn it, that Piper is getting more accurate information in her classroom. Truly mind-boggling.

Posted by: cate2 | October 22, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Again, you may or may not agree with Dick Cheney (or Alexander Hamilton), but Sarah Palin is right. (This has been discussed ad nauseum after the VP debate.)

The FEDERALIST PAPERS, written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, are generally considered to reflect the rationale of the framers of the Constitution. This is how they characterized the responsibilities of the vice president (Federalist 68):

"The vice president is to be chosen in the same manner with the President; with this difference, that the Senate is to do, in respect to the former, what is to be done by the House of Representatives, in respect to the latter. The appointment of an extraordinary person, as vice president, has been objected to as superfluous, if not mischievous. It has been alleged, that it would have been preferable to have authorized the Senate to elect out of their own body an officer answering that description. But two considerations seem to justify the ideas of the convention in this respect. One is, that to secure at all times the possibility of a definite resolution of the body, it is necessary that the president should have only a casting vote. And to take the senator of any State from his seat as senator, to place him in that of President of the Senate, would be to exchange, in regard to the state from which he came, a constant for a contingent vote. The other consideration is, that as the vice president may occasionally become a substitute for the president, in the SUPREME EXECUTIVE MAGISTRACY, all the reasons which recommend the mode of election prescribed for the one, apply with great if not with equal force to the manner of appointing the other It is remarkable that in this, as in most other instances, the objection which is made would lie against the constitution of this state. We have a lieutenant governor, chosen by the people at large, who PRESIDES IN the Senate, and is the CONSTITUTIONAL SUBSTITUTE for the governor, in casualties similar to those which would authorize the vice president to exercise the authorities and discharge the duties of the President."

Posted by: wp086 | October 22, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

This moron should have never been even though of being a VP....

peeeuuu Palin....A 150,000 dollar clothes horse..the money would have been better speant with her being tutored by a third grade "social studies" teacher on who the US Constitution works....

She could have been wearing clothes from Walmart...at least she would have at least 1 thing in common with those who live in "small towns".....

Posted by: AlexP1 | October 22, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Technically, again, she's correct.

Posted by: JakeD | October 22, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I don't know who is dumber - Palin or Bachmann.

:-)

Posted by: toritto | October 22, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I recall Dan Quayle once spelled "potatoe" in a way that a 2nd grader would understand....

Posted by: p2lf | October 22, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

kindegarten is now in session:


SHE'S AN IDIOT!

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 22, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

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