The vice-president of America is elected at the same time as the president of America, but when the office of vice-President was created the fathers of the constitution were not enthusiastic above it Benjamin Franklin called this as “His superfluous Highness”. Thomas Jefferson called this office as a “Splendid misery” Franklin Roosevelt once observed that he would prefer to be professor of History that the vice-President of America.
(2) Qualification of Vice-President:
The constitution of America requires the vice president to poses the same qualification as are prescribed for the President:
- (i) He must be a natural born citizen of united states.
- (ii) He must have attained the age of 35 years.
- (iii) He must have been resident of the U.S.A for at last 15 years
(3) Electing Vice-President:
The Vice-President is elected at the same time in the same manner and for the term of four years as the president. The presidential electors cast two votes, ie, one for president and the other for the Vice-Presidential Candidate. A candidate for Vice-President securing absolute majority of votes is declared elected. In case no candidate secures an absolute majority of votes, the senate elects one out of two candidate securing the highest votes.
(4) Points kept in view for electing Vice-President:
The following points are kept in view for electing the vice president of America.
(i) The President and Vice President should not belong to the same state.
(ii) Presidential candidate should be in favour of Vice President candidate.
(iii) The parties while nominating their candidates for the two offices should keep in view the fact that both the candidates belong to different wings of the party.
(iv) The candidate for Vice President should belong to some big state.
(5) Oath of Office:
At his inauguration into office every new Vice-President takes an oath of office, like the President.
(6) Removal of Vice President:
The vice president can resign his office and be removed by impeachment for treason, etc. The vice president has no official residence like the president of America.
(7) Salary of Vice President:
The Vice President of USA receives a salary of 230,700 dollars per year and Annual allowance is also given.
(8) Succession to the Presidency:
The main potential of the vice president is to fill to the office of the president in case of the removal of the president from office, on his death or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office. The constitution has authorized the congress to decide by law who will succeed in case of death, resignation, removal or disability both of the president and vice president.
(9) Importance of Vice President:
The vice president of USA is generally regarded an object of pity and is made a bill of endless jokes. Truly the vice president have been forgotten men in American history.
(10) Duties and Functions:
When the office of vice president was instituted the framers felt it necessary to allocate him duties besides that of waiting for death of his chief. So some important functions of the vice president of America are as followings.
- (i) Presiding officer of the Senate:
- (ii) Limited Authorities:
- (iii) Presidential Substitute:
- (iv) Attends the meetings of Presidents’ Cabinet:
(i) Presiding officer of the Senate:
Vice President is the presiding officer of the senate. He is not a member of the upper house but presides over it. He has no vote but in case of a tie, he can exercise a casting vote. As the presiding officer of the senate Vice President performs normal duties of a Chairman.
(ii) Limited Authorities:
The Vice President has very little of authority because the senate has its rules and customs which the presiding officer must follow. He does not even appoint senatorial committers.
(iii) Presidential Substitute:
The vice president is actually the presidential substitute. The vice president is to succeed the president in case he dies, or resigns or is removed by impeachment.
(iv) Attends the meetings of Presidents’ Cabinet:
Some times the presidents include the vice presidents in their cabinets as matter of courtesy and the vice president, then attends the meeting of the presidents’ cabinets.
To conclude it can be stated that the vice president of USA holds on office of great potentialities but of little actual power. The office of the vice president was created with qualification similar to those laid down for president. Actually the office of vice President is regarded an object of pity as it has no power and authority.