General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Would switching VP's improve Obama's chances for re-election? Has a sitting president ever changed running mates?

Asked by SuperMouse (30845points) January 13th, 2012

In this New York Times op-ed piece, Bill Keller argues that President Obama should fire Joe Biden and replace him with Hillary Clinton in order to increase his chances of being re-elected. Has a sitting president ever replaced his VP and run for re-election? Do you think this would help the president win?

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13 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

Hannibal Hamlin and Henry Wallace. Hamlin was vice president under President Abraham Lincoln. He was replaced with Andrew Jackson as Lincoln’s running mate for his second term.

Wallace was a Progressive and dropped from the ticket by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

zenvelo's avatar

I think Joe Biden has done a pretty good job as VP. There’s really not much to it, and I really don’t think his gaffes have been all that terrible, not nearly as bad as the press would indicate.

But Hillary would be a great VP, although she would polarize the Republicans even more.

Yes, there is precedent for a new VP, FDR had three different Vice Presidents.

bkcunningham's avatar

I forgot about Garner, @zenvelo. I need another cup of coffee.

filmfann's avatar

As recent as Gerald Ford, who had Nelson Rockefeller as a VP, and replaced him on the (losing) ticket with Bob Dole.
Yes, and FDR replaced the VP slot several times, finally with Harry Truman.

One issue with replacing Biden with Hillary (which I like) is the Pennsylvania vote. Biden helps carry that. If the Republicans have Rick Santorum on the ticket, they could lose Penn. Hillary brings excitement to the ticket, but the Dems are already carrying New York and Illinois.

You can find more on this topic here

janbb's avatar

If it can be done in a way that is not disrespectful of Biden, I think it is an exciting idea.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it would say different things to different people. Some would see it as admitting Biden was the wrong choice initially, so it might be twisted as weakness. Also, I know a lot of people who really don’t like Hillary, but I am going to guess they likely would not vote for Obama anyway.

I admit that if Hillary was Obama’s running mate, It would probably lock in my vote for Obama. Right now I am kind of waiting for the Republicans to get their guy, and once they choose I will seriously listen to everything they have to say. If Hillary is on the ticket I will probably be less attentive to the whole process, and less easily swayed to consider the Republican nominee. If Hillary were running for President I might hyperventilate I would be so excited. But, as VP, I think she will have little influence to be honest on the decisions Obama makes. Right now he can consult with the Clinton’s any time he wants I would think.

For Hillary, it would be nice for her to not have to travel around the world for another 4 years, she has an incredibly exhausting position. I wonder if she steps down from it, and was not involved with politics for a few years, if it would hurt her chances of winning if she ran in 4 years.

My conclusion is, I think putting Hillary into the VP spot would probably not harm Obama and could help. Maybe he should have done the switch a year ago before the election process started to heat up.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, Vice Presidents have been changed.

I don’t think that Obama should change though. Biden has done a good job. It would be obvious that he was just doing it for re-election.

rojo's avatar

Hillary in 2016!

Jaxk's avatar

Frankly, I would be very surprised if Hilary would accept. If she did and Obama loses, she would be done. Even if Obama won, she would be too closely tied to all his domestic policies which could kill her chances in 2016. Right now she enjoys reasonably good job approval even though she has little control over foriegn policy. Any success is credited to Obama but any failure is also blamed on Obama. She walks away with clean hands regardless of any outcome.

As VP she would be relegated to a position of championing anything Obama does, foriegn and domestic. I doubt she could live with that.

I don’t see anyone else that would help the ticket, so Obama might as well stick with bumbling Joe.

ETpro's avatar

The President will win or lose based on his own record and what he proposes fot the future. Who’s #2 on the ticket rarely has much impact on the voters’ choice. And I’d rather see Hillary Clinton remain Secretary fo State, then move to the much less powerful VP slot. Hillary has been a very effective

janbb's avatar

I have the feeling we will be hashing this question over many times in the next several months. These are only the first two iterations.

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