Veepstakes

Veepstakes

Veepstakes describes the quadrennial process in which candidates for President of the United States select a running mate. If the ticket wins, the running mate becomes the Vice President of the United States and first in line to the presidency.

Origin

The phrase was originally used in the Hotline political newsletter during the 1988 presidential campaign.

election process

Once the Republican Party and the Democratic Party choose their presumptive nominees for the election, the candidates themselves choose their running mates. Running mates are heavily vetted before being announced in the weeks prior to the party national convention. The selection of a running mate is given considerable attention because the individual chosen can be seen to broaden the ticket's appeal by complementing and balancing its strengths, ideologically, geographically, and with respect to credentials on either foreign or domestic policy.

Occasionally, the running mate is chosen from the pool of candidates who also ran in the primary, as was the case in 1960 with John F. Kennedy choosing Lyndon B. Johnson, 1980 with Ronald Reagan choosing George H. W. Bush, and in 2004 with John Kerry picking John Edwards.

Historical examples

In 1960, when Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts won the nomination, he chose Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas in an effort to win that state's critical electoral votes and enhance his appeal in the South.

In 2000, Texas Governor George W. Bush attempted to counter a perception of his inexperience by choosing Dick Cheney, a former White House Chief of Staff, congressman, and Secretary of Defense.


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