Earlier today I encountered yet another insipid comment from Paul Ryan, and it occurred to me that one of the many, many ways that the Democratic party is better than the Republican party is in our selection of qualified VP candiates. Consider first the Republicans. I'll start at 1980 and give some thoughts on each:
1980, 1984: George H.W. Bush a qualified and experienced candidate
1998, 1992: Dan Quayle, the first of the unqualified candidates forced on to the ticket to appeal to the conservative fringe.
1996: Jack Kemp. A qualified candidate to support an honorable man, Senator Dole
2000, 2004: Dick Cheney, smart and experienced but, well, evil
2008: Sarah Palin, descent into farce driven by desparation
2012: Paul Ryan, trying to finish 10th grade Atlas Shrugged book report and pretending to wash dishes for photo ops
Democrats below the squiggle
1980: Walter Mondale, qualified and experienced
1984: Geraldine Ferraro, qualified but family business not sufficiently vetted
1988: Lloyd Benson, qualified and experienced
1992,1996: Al Gore, qualified and experienced
2000: Joe Lieberman, a poor choice but not an embarrassingly bad one
2004: John Edwards, not the strongest choice 2008, 2012: Joe Biden, qualified and experienced
While one could certainly argue that Lieberman and Edwards were subpar choices, in general we Democrats pick serious and qualified VP candidates who could step into the oval office if required. On the other hands the Republicans often make selections which highlight their general disregard for governance.
I have no doubt that Secretary Clinton will continue this tradition when she choses her VP candidate after securing the Democratic nomination. Who do you think it will be?