Vice Presidency

April 4, 1956

Report Outline
New Interest in the Vice Presidency
Evolution of Office of Vice President
Vice Presidency: Present and Future
Special Focus

New Interest in the Vice Presidency

Changed View of Vice Presidential Nominations

President Eisenhower's decision to seek a second term has thrown the Republican vice-presidential nomination and the vice-presidential office itself into special prominence. If Eisenhower is re-elected next Nov. 6, three weeks after his 66th birthday, he will be slated to stay in the White House until he is more than 70 years old. Because no previous President has attained that age in office and because, in addition, President Eisenhower suffered a heart attack last September, there naturally is concern as to whether he can survive the strains of office and remain fully able to discharge the responsibilities of the Presidency for another four years.

Such hazards pertain to any White House occupant, young or old, but Eisenhower's illness has had the effect of bringing them forcibly to public attention. There is therefore keener realization than is usually the case that a man nominated and elected as Vice President may actually become President or may be called upon, in event of presidential disability, to perform some or all of the duties of the highest office. The importance of selecting individuals of presidential stature as vice-presidential nominees thus has been borne home. It has become correspondingly evident, moreover, that careful thought should be given to the possible application of constitutional provisions, never invoked, to enable the Vice President to act for a disabled President.

Eisenhower and Choice of a 1956 Running Mate

Renomination of Vice President Richard M. Nixon at the Republican convention in San Francisco now appears virtually certain. Although President Eisenhower has not come out flatly for Nixon as his running mate for a second term, his warm endorsement of the Vice President, after Nixon had received some 22,000 write-in votes in the New Hampshire primary in mid-March, came as close to outright tapping as was possible. At a news conference on Mar. 14 the President said: “I am very happy that Dick Nixon is my friend. I am very happy to have him as an associate in government. I would be happy to be on any political ticket in which I was a candidate with him.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Executive Powers and the Presidency
Feb. 24, 2006  Presidential Power
Nov. 15, 2002  Presidential Power
Feb. 02, 2001  The Bush Presidency
Jun. 20, 1997  Line-Item Veto
Jun. 14, 1996  First Ladies
Oct. 21, 1988  Dangers in Presidential Transitions
Jun. 10, 1988  The Quandary of Being Vice President
Jan. 06, 1984  Presidential Advisory Commissions
Jul. 28, 1978  Presidential Popularity
Feb. 13, 1976  Evaluating Presidential Performance
Dec. 12, 1975  Presidential Protection
Jul. 11, 1973  Presidential Reorganization
Mar. 07, 1973  Presidential Accountability
Sep. 24, 1971  Presidential Diplomacy
Nov. 11, 1970  Vice Presidency
Oct. 02, 1968  Presidential Power
Mar. 14, 1966  War Powers of the President
Nov. 23, 1960  Transfer of Executive Power
Apr. 04, 1956  Vice Presidency
Oct. 15, 1952  Change of Presidents
Jun. 09, 1950  President and Mid-Term Elections
Oct. 20, 1948  Federal Patronage
Mar. 24, 1948  The South and the Presidency
Dec. 05, 1947  Military Leaders and the Presidency
Apr. 16, 1947  Veto Power of the President
Sep. 20, 1945  Succession to the Presidency
Sep. 12, 1940  The War Powers of the President
Feb. 11, 1938  Emergency Powers of the President
Jan. 06, 1938  The Power to Declare War
Dec. 28, 1937  Extension of the Veto Power
Dec. 28, 1936  Limitation of the President's Tenure
Mar. 12, 1935  The President and the Congress
Dec. 16, 1932  The Veto Power of the President
May 28, 1931  Presidential Commissions
Oct. 23, 1928  Presidential Appointments and the Senate
Mar. 21, 1928  Business Conditions in Presidential Years
Jan. 20, 1927  The Monroe Doctrine
Mar. 18, 1925  The President's Power of Appointment
Sep. 10, 1923  The President's Position on Patronage
Powers and History of the Presidency