As we welcome our first female Vice President into office and appreciate how far we’ve come in history, learn about this political position and some fun facts behind the second in command.  You’ll be able to share some interesting trivia and lesser-known information about this powerful job.

Consolation Prize

Until the 1800’s, whoever got the second most votes automatically became the vice president.  There was no running mate or presidential ticket.  Everyone ran for president and the ‘second best’ became the Vice President.  Imagine how that would work today if candidates running against each other needed to learn how to work together once in office.  It would make things a little more diverse for sure.  Maybe we’d get a lot more done?  Who’s to say, but it would be a good lesson for everyone in getting along and how to work with differing views.

Second in Line to the Presidency

For the longest time, actually until the 1960’s, it was just assumed the Vice President would become President should something happen to the Commander in Chief or if they were unfit for the job.  There was no official ruling or law written about this until 1967.  With the passing of the 25th Amendment, it became official that the VP would be the natural successor to the Presidency should need be.  Talk about open for interpretation before that. 

President of the Senate


The Vice President is the president of the Senate.  They also are the tiebreaker in votes within the Senate.  Some have had to serve as this crucial decision maker more than others.  When Joe Biden was Vice President, he made a tiebreaking vote 0 times during his 8 years in the position.  Mike Pence had broken more than a dozen ties in his 4 years.  We shall see how many Kamala Harris will have to weigh in on during her tenure in office.

Home Sweet Home

Nowadays, the Vice President and their family lives at Number One Observatory Circle.  While not as famous as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, at least the VP gets a free place to live.  Up until 1977, the Vice President had to live at and pay for their own house.  Living at the Naval Observatory is now a perk of the job.  Imagine the commute every day from your home to the most secure government building.  The security clearance alone would be a nightmare.  Plus, the Naval Observatory has a pretty impressive library that houses rare books and works by Galileo, Newton, Einstein and more.  Just a little light reading before heading off to work to change a country. 

This lesser-known political office has some fascinating history.  As we usher in a new leader, appreciate where we’ve come and how far we still have to go.  Share some of these facts and learn about others yourself. 

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