"[T]races the rise in the power and esteem of the office and of those elected to it."
The Chronicle of Higher Education
"In an era in which Dick Cheney's political prominence in the executive branch has led some political wags to refer to the policies and actions of the Cheney administration, it is perhaps not surprising to find a text that seeks to reassess the role of the vice presidency in American politics. Baumgartner begins with a characterization of the evolution of the office, focusing for the rest of the work only on the modern era (1956 to the present). He then offers chapters discussing the pre- office attributes and qualifications of vice presidential candidates, the reasons candidates are selected, and the role they play in presidential political campaigns. Next, he analyzes the formal constitutional, statutory, and appointive roles of the vice presidency and its informal ceremonial, diplomatic, political, and advisory roles. The final chapter discusses what happens to vice presidential candidates after they have left office or lost their campaigns."
Reference & Research Book News
"The vice presidency has long since ceased being the fifth wheel of the American wagon. Jody Baumgartner does a brilliant job of tracing and analyzing the transformation of this critical role which can only become more vital over time."
Larry J. Sabato, University of Virginia