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Vice President Mondale to Speak at Humphrey Institute Monday Morning

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Picking the Vice Presidential Nominees: What Should We Look For?
Monday, March 24, 2008.
8:30am - Noon; Hubert H. Humphrey Center

"The Humphrey Institute's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota and Presidential Studies Quarterly are convening a national conference on Monday, March 24th to examine the selection of the vice presidential running mates in 2008.

As both the Democratic and Republican Parties move toward selecting their respective presidential nominees, attention will now shift to the selection of the vice presidential running mate. The increased power and responsibility of the vice presidency under Richard Cheney makes the selection of the running mate more important than ever.

The rules for selecting running mates seem scrambled, however. The old rules of using the vice presidential pick to create a "balanced" ticket in terms of region, party factions, and other factors no longer consistently apply. Bill Clinton and George Bush both chose running mates that were similar to themselves in many respects.

What should we look for in the next vice president? What political factors are likely to influence the selection of a running mate in 2008? What role should be played by experience, temperament, and understanding of the role of the Office of the Vice President? What should we look for in a running mate's understanding of the Vice President's role within America's constitutional system?

Join Vice President Walter Mondale, former Governor and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson and other prominent scholars, George Edwards III, Joel Goldstein, Lawrence Jacobs, Douglas Kriner, Richard Moe, Kathryn Pearson, and Steven Schier to discuss the political, personal, and institutional considerations in selecting vice presidential nominees. "

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Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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