John – I agree with you. But winning the Vice-Presidency isn’t that great either. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, Vice Presidents don’t often get to be president — unless the boss dies or resigns. As I’ve written around here before, since 1804 — when veep and presidential candidates started running on the same ticket — only two sitting VPs have been elected president without the help of their boss dying first: Martin Van Buren and the first President Bush. Richard Nixon is the only former vice president to be elected president without the benefit of first being an unelected president, through the death or resignation of his boss. This explains why Teddy Roosevelt called the office a steppingstone to oblivion, and John Nance Garner said things about it not printable on a family website.
Gore would have been the third sitting VP to be elected (and liberal readers can spare me the emails about how Gore was elected. Old joke, doesn’t get better with age). But his problems, I think, highlight a lot of the disadvantages of being a VP. You have another politician’s baggage to explain and if you try to distance yourself too much from your old boss, you tick-off your base in the process. Plus, the Vice Presidency is inherently castrating which never helps when you’re trying to run for alpha dog.