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.


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.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Veepstakes — noun Process by which candidates for the Presidency of the United States choose a running mate. The candidate for the challenging party was undergoing a Veepstakes …   Wiktionary

  • Democratic Party (United States) vice presidential candidates, 2008 — This article lists individuals who were potential Democratic candidates for Vice President of the United States in the 2008 election prior to the selection of Joe Biden by the party s nominee Barack Obama. After he became the Democratic… …   Wikipedia

  • Kathleen Sebelius — Infobox Governor name= Kathleen Sebelius caption= order= 44th office= Governor of Kansas term start= January 13, 2003 term end= lieutenant= John E. Moore, Mark Parkinson predecessor= Bill Graves successor= Incumbent birth date= birth date and… …   Wikipedia

  • Frederick Kempe — Infobox Person name = Frederick Kempe image size = 300 caption = Fred Kempe, Atlantic Council President birth date = birth date and age|1954|9|5 birth place = death date = death place = education = University of UtahColumbia Graduate School of… …   Wikipedia

  • Jack Kemp — Infobox Officeholder name = Jack Kemp, Jr. imagesize = 200px small caption = order = 1996 Republican Vice Presidential nominee term start =August 16, 1996 term end =November 5, 1996 runningmate = Bob Dole opponent = Bill Clinton/Al Gore… …   Wikipedia

  • John Danforth — Infobox Senator | name=John C. Danforth nationality=American jr/sr=United States Senator state=Missouri party=Republican term start=December 27 1976 term end=January 3 1995 preceded=Stuart Symington succeeded=John Ashcroft ambassador from2=United …   Wikipedia

  • Michael S. Steele — Infobox Lt Governor name= Michael Steele caption= order= 6th office= Lieutenant Governor of Maryland term start=January 15, 2003 term end=January 17, 2007 governor= Robert Ehrlich predecessor= Kathleen Kennedy Townsend successor= Anthony G. Brown …   Wikipedia

  • John Kerry presidential campaign, 2004 — Infobox U.S. federal election campaign, 2008 committee = John Kerry for President campaign = U.S. presidential election, 2004 candidate = John Kerry U.S. Senator 1985–present status = Lost election November 2, 2004 affiliation = Democratic Party… …   Wikipedia

  • Jeff Jacoby (columnist) — Jeff Jacoby (born February 10, 1959) is a conservative syndicated American newspaper columnist. Career Jeff Jacoby s column has been published on the op ed page of the Boston Globe since 1994, when he was hired as a counterweight to the paper s… …   Wikipedia

  • Michael Steele — For other people named Michael Steele, see Michael Steele (disambiguation). Michael Steele …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”