Quote of the Day “The man with the best job in the country is the vice-president. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, “How is the president?” —Will Rogers
TB posts from time to time about his “asshole runnin buddies”, a term of art coined by my friend Gig Tisdale. In being forced to follow the interminable cable and internet coverage of Obama’s vice-presidential selection process and now the actual selection of Joe Biden, TB’s mind travelled to the parallels between “Running Mates” and “ARB’s.” The similarities are not inconsequential as it turns out.
Wolf Blitzer tells me a VP candidate must take on the role of attack dog. Of ARB’s we say they must always have your back which is simply another way of stating the same thing. Both VP’s and ARB’s must be in substantial agreement on policy issues. For example, a VP should have the same opinion on tax policy and foreign affairs as the President and ARB’s should have the same ethics on girl chasing and how much contact constitutes a foul in pickup hoops. Their policy positions may have some differences however, that can actually strengthen the partnership, such as having a VP with an opposing view on abortion or gun control and an ARB with a differing view on lite beer or college football affiliation. VP’s often have a history of criticizing their partner in party primaries while ARB’s may have occasion to trash their pal with other ARB’s, but neither will countenance criticism by outsiders. And a VP candidate’s number one job is to help his running mate be more popular. He essentially takes on the common ARB role of wing man except that a wing man’s job is only to help his buddy with a particular girl on a particular night.
Of course the fact the two jobs parallel one another does not make them identical. ARB’s come together–they are not chosen. And ARB’s are equals, unlike running mates. Most importantly ARB’s are permanently joined together while running mates typically stay together only as long as expedience dictates. Nevertheless, the parallels are striking. After all, who but an ARB would you offer the chance to take the best job in the world?