Here it is, Sarah Palin: A Job Description for Vice President
There’s not really much to it. But since you don’t know what the Vice President does (see video, below) we’ll tell you. According to the U.S. Constitution, the Vice-President serves only two real functions. One is to become U.S. President in the event of the President’s death or resignation. The second VP duty is to act as President of the U.S. Senate — casting a tie-breaking vote in the event of a deadlock, and certifying the official vote count of the U.S. electoral college.
But, since your job description could soon find you living the proverbial ‘one heartbeat away from the presidency,’ you may also want to familiarize yourself with the President’s job description (printed, in entirety, at the bottom of this post). While the job description for U.S. President is a bit wordier than the job description for Vice President. the good news is that, technically, the Constitution does not disqualify you from applying for the job.
The resumes of most, if not all, former Vice-Presidents over the past 50 years included a law degree and/or military service and/or enough experience in the U.S. Senate or Congress to capably perform these duties. Even Dan Quayle, with whom you’ve been unfairly compared, had a law degree and was twice-elected to both the U.S. Congress and Senate before being chosen for the VP slot. Still, Ms. Palin, you needn’t be intimidated. While there is no precedent in modern U.S. history for a person of your credentials serving as Vice President, it is theoretically possible for a third-grader to to perform the actual duties of Vice-President. Your lack of education and/or experience with constitutional law shouldn’t be much of an impediment to serving, so long as the President doesn’t die or resign.
The Vice-Presidency according to Sarah Palin, July 31, 2008
Regarding constitutional law, there are many in this country — myself included — who felt a certain thrill this past May, when Sen. Obama announced that, during his first 100 days in office, “I would call my attorney general in and review every single executive order issued by George Bush and overturn those laws or executive decisions that I feel violate the constitution.” Being a Harvard law school graduate, and serving as the president of the Harvard Law Review, and teaching constitutional law for 12 years affords him the credentials to not only aspire to such a task, but to undertake it with some competency. Indeed, some would rightfully claim that the six years Obama served in the Illinois State Senate, followed by nearly 4 years in the U.S. Senate, only add these credentials. (see more on this topic in the comments section, below)
Since you claim to have not “really focused much on the war in Iraq,” Ms. Palin, it seems a safe bet that you’ve also not really “focused much” on the fact that, for the past 8 years, our forefathers have surely been roiling in their graves as they witnessed the spirit and the letter of U.S. constitutional law being shredded in the hands of the Bush Administration. Our forefathers were not alone in their roiling. There are many living, breathing Americans out here who mourn and anguish over the loss of integrity to the most fundamental and cherished foundations of our country — the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights — as laid by our forefathers.
Call me old-fashioned, but I like the idea of a President being well-versed in the U.S. Constitution and constitutional law. After all (and you may hear tale of this in the coming days) the oath of office for President of the United States includes the following words: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Which is sort of tough to do, if you don’t know anything about it. Too, you’d be surprised at how often the U.S. Constitution comes up during the course of this business: appointing cabinet members, ambassadors and Supreme Court judges; meeting with leaders of foreign countries; making treaties; proposing new laws, and so on.
There are some citizens in this country — including some of our most important historic figures — who devoted years of their lives to studying this great document that we call the U.S. Constitution. Barack Obama is one of those people. Perhaps, between mooseburgers, you could familiarize yourself with this document, beginning with the qualifications and job description for the President — a job for which you are uniquely unqualified — if nothing else, by simple virtue of the fact that you have the poor judgement to apply for a job whose description is as foreign to you as are the laws governing the 300+ million people you propose to lead.
UPDATE (10/22/08): See updated VP job description here: Sarah’s Job Description for Vice-President, Part II (Checkpoint Chickie Rides Again)
by Mantis Katz, for the canarypapers
The U.S. Constitution: Article 2 – The Executive Branch
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.