The Vice President certainly doesn’t get the same attention as the President of the United States does but they do have plenty of responsibility. As the second in command of the country their roles can change in an instance. Should the President become incapacitated, be killed, or be kidnapped they will have to step in and fill those shoes. There have been some Vice President in history that have had to complete the term due to the assassination of the President.
This leads to a very serious vacant spot though – who fills in for the Vice President when he becomes President? In most cases the position has not been filled until the next election. However there hasn’t been an issue of the Vice President becoming President for decades. In the early days they didn’t very many responsibilities. Yet today they handle many important duties so having one in that position would be essential to the ongoing government operations.
In the history of the United States Presidency, a total of nine Vice Presidents have had to step up to the role of President during their term. Four of them ran for the office of President and successfully won the seat. Richard Nixon is the only person in history to serve two full terms as a vice President and then two full terms as a President.
Since the Vice President may have to one day become President they have to meet all of the same criteria. They must be at least 35 years old and be a natural citizen of the United States. A person can be Vice President for more than two terms even though the President can’t hold that role. To keep the balance of power in place anyone who has served more than six years as President can’t fill the role of a Vice President in the future.
The Vice President works very closely with the senate on a regular basis. The main function there is to vote when there is a tie on issues. This can put the Vice President into a very difficult situation. Yet a decision has to be made and so this takes place after careful consideration of both sides of the issue has been completed.