Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Period of Performance

4/1/2012 - 3/31/2013

Funding Totals

$50,400.00 (approved)
$50,400.00 (awarded)

Evolution of the Vice Presidency in Politics and Governance

FAIN: FB-56058-12

Jules Witcover
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar (Washington, DC 20007-0000)

The American vice presidency, once seen as of little significance or utility, in the last 20 years has emerged as a critical office in the shaping and implementation of domestic and foreign policy. Indeed, its last three occupants--Al Gore, Dick Cheney and Joe Biden-- have taken on the stature and influence of assistant presidents. They have performed tasks far beyond the traditional ceremonial and purely political chores of the office as they have fulfilled their Constitutional role as presidents-in-waiting, to their own benefit and that of the presidents who chose them. This study will explore and assess this evolution through the previous vice presidencies in terms of governance as well as politics. Finally it will strive to underscore the need for greater public concern in how presidential running mates are selected, how the winners serve in office, and in holding presidential nominees to account at the ballot box for making wise and responsible choices.

Media Coverage

The Making of the Assistant President: Evolution of the Vice Presidency from Obscurity to Power (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Jules Witcover
Publication: Not published yet
Date: 7/7/2013
Abstract: This book of 200,000 words is under contract with Smithsonian Books and will be submitted in the next few weeks, with publication scheduled for September, 2014. It will have separate chapters on each of the 47 presidents, including brief biography and analysis of the performance of each in the administration served. If additional information is desired, please advice. Thank you. th
URL: http:// None yet

Associated Products

The American Vice Presidency: From Irrelevance to Power (Book)
Title: The American Vice Presidency: From Irrelevance to Power
Author: Jules Witcover
Abstract: I am in the final stages of completion and submission of this study of the developing role of American vice presidents in active governing after a long history in the shadows.I have researched and written more than 200,000 words offering a chapter on each of the 47 occupants of the office, including brief biography and an assessment of each vice president's involvement in the substantive work of the administration in which he served.As a working journalist, I intend to continue my syndicated newspaper column while working to enhance my standing as a writer of political events and history, with several other books on the subject still in print. The book will argue for more serious selection of vice presidents and their utilization in office, which in the last half century has markedly grown.The book is under contract with Smithsonian Books, with the publication date set for September, 2014. I have done the bulk of my research at the Library of Congress and the National Archives, supplemented with interviews. Although I am not a teacher, it is my hope to lecture on this oft-ignored subject and for the book to gain some usefulness in academic circles.The publication date is September 2014 with the submission date of August 1 this year and provision of all art by October 1.My research and writing have confirmed the intensification of vice presidents in governing over tha last half century. As a syndicated columnist I intend to continue writing about this trend and lecture and teach on the subject as occasions arise. I am essentially semi-retired with my syndication my only source of income. My NEH grant covered the period April, 2012 through March 2013 and I have continued to completion of the manuscript since then.
Year: 2014
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: None yet
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes