The wisdom of John Adams.

Paul GleiserThe wisdom of John Adams.

John Adams was the first vice president of the United States and he didn’t much care for the job. He is famously quoted as having described it as:

…the most insignificant office ever devised.”

But in a less famous quote, he also said:

I am vice president. In this I am nothing. But I may be everything.”

All our adult lives we have largely looked upon the party nominee’s selection for VP through Adams’s insignificant office lens. We pay only nominal attention to who the presidential nominee picks as a running mate, and that attention is almost totally driven by political considerations. We talk about how the VP nominee might help with this or that group of voters, or how the VP nominee might help bring his or her state across the finish line in the Electoral College.

But events today call upon us to consider the office from Adams’s “I may be everything…” perspective.

Here’s why.

The White House’s contortions of language to the contrary notwithstanding, it is now obvious to any observer possessed of even the tiniest shred of objectivity that President Joe Biden is badly diminished.

Just listen to the progression of his decline.

Here he is at the Vice-Presidential debate against Paul Ryan in Danville, KY on October 11, 2012 (and disregard what he says and instead concentrate on how he says it):

Let’s look at where we were when we came to office. The economy was in freefall. We had the Great Recession hit. Nine million people lost their job. One point seven, $1.6 trillion in wealth lost.”

That was a bit more than 11 years ago. He sounded sharp.

Here he is from the second presidential debate against Donald Trump in Nashville in October 2020.

I represent all of you, whether you voted for me or against me. And I’m going to make sure that you are represented. I’m going to give you hope. We’re going to move. We’re going to choose science over fiction.”

A little weaker but still OK.

But here he is last Friday in East Palestine, Ohio:

I also want to thank…uh…, EPA administrator here with me…[unintelligible]…okay…Administrator Regan…as well.”

Political pundits are punditing as to whether he hangs on to become the 2024 Democratic Party nominee. What about hanging on to the end of his term? If he doesn’t, here’s what we get to take his place:

Talking about the significance of the passage of time. Right? The significance of the passage of time. So when you think about it, there is great significance to the passage of time.”

That was Vice President Kamala Harris – someone I regard as an industrial strength idiot – a year ago in March in Sunset, Louisiana.

The two presumptive nominees for president in 2024 are 81 and 77 years old. If elected, either will be a one-term president.

Which is to say, 2024 will likely prove that John Adams was right. The vice president could very well be everything.

Let’s hope, at the very least, that Donald Trump picks accordingly.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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5 Responses

  1. Buddy Saunders says:

    Paul, you make a very salient point. If Biden remains the Democrat nominee and Harris remains his vice president, and if he does win the election, either by hook or crook, he cannot possibly finish his term, and then Harris become our new president, a woman described just today by a TV pundit as “past her prime” (But when pray tell was she ever in her prime?). Harris, selected originally for the crassest kind of political expediency, is the female equivalent of the empty suit– an empty pants suit.

    On the other hand, the situation is vastly different on the Republican side. Donald Trump is selecting his vice president from an excellent pool of candidates, and Trump’s choice will tend very much to be merit-based and not determined by skin color or a person’s sex.

  2. Darrell Durham says:

    Industrial strength idiot? Excellent! I fully agree that VP is very important this time. Trump has a much deeper, as well as more appealing, bench to choose from than Biden. Trump was very presidential in the recent town hall setting in South Carolina, and struck gold with several messages. I’m hearing more Americans quickly abandoning the democratic party. Bidenomics ain’t being bought, and NOBODY is happy with immigration right now. Democrats want more immigrants, more money and more laws, Americans want less ILLEGAL immigration, no more money OR laws. The next president can bring the country back around by following Trump’s lead because people can FEEL Trump’s energy when he sticks to the issues. I was really impressed with him the other night, and so were many others. He has to continue to impress. But the policies must carry on after 2028, as you point out.

  3. Linda E. Montrose says:

    I’ve always looked at the VP as significant in choosing. ANYTHING could happen, especially in this day and time. In fact, when McCain was running and chose Sarah Palin, it was because of HER that I even voted that year! Sarah Palin wasn’t just a pretty face, she had BRAINS enough to fit right in as President if something happened to mccain. She could have gathered up those reins and steered us in the right direction. I always thought that a VP pick was just for insurance incase anything happened to the President.
    I can not see WHY pence was chosen as President Trump’s VP. A real good reason WHY anyone running for President needs to vet the VP choices VERY CAREFULLY. Evidently biden clearly didn’t.

  4. Mike says:

    I fondly refer to the V.P. as “The Laughing Hyena” due to her constant and consistent laughing at almost every interview. Never mind her laugh is obnoxious. There is a psychological terminology for a person who does this; as elementary as it seems, here it is: Nervous laughter is a stress response to uncomfortable situations. It is a way for your body to relieve tension or serves as a defense mechanism to avoid painful emotions.
    We certainly DO NOT need a person who meets this simple terminology as the potential Commander In Chief. God forbid!!!!

  5. Jean Bammel says:

    Does anyone besides Paul Gleiser Buddy, Darrell, Linda and a few other Americans understand how far our country has gone down a road that ends at a 1,000 ft, cliff with miles of sharp rocks at the bottom. I am afraid that we have been on the wrong too long.

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