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Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
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is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

He is also a columnist for Montreal's outstanding weekly The Suburban.

His LCC columns are archived here

Posted 07.27.06

RICKY BLUE

An unelectable American vice president

MONTREAL | The American presidential election of 2008 has already begun. Candidates are busy campaigning and raising enormous sums of money. I can hear the marching bands playing and can see the red, white, and blue balloons falling already. Can't you?

But what we do not hear much about, and will not until next summer when the actual conventions occur, is the all-important presidential running mate - and I don't mean the candidate's spouse. I mean the candidate for vice-president.

This is a highly under-rated position. But it could be very important for the upcoming election and indeed for years to come.

On the Democrats' side, could it be Bill Clinton?

Many people think that constitutionally, it could. The 12th Amendment says: "No person constitutionally ineligible to the office of president shall be eligible to that of vice-president of the United States." But Bill Clinton was eligible to the office of president; ergo he is eligible for the position of vice-president.

The 22nd Amendment says: "No person shall be elected to the office of the president more than twice ...." But in this case Bill would be running for vice-president, not president.

Bill Clinton is the best campaigner of his generation. He has charisma. He is very well liked. And the vice presidential position is usually chosen based upon the candidate's usefulness in winning the election.

Wouldn't that be an interesting scenario?

Imagine both Clintons once again living in the White House? And it would also mean that Bill could become president again, if the president died in office or was impeached.

Which brings me to another crucial function of the modern vice-president; one which is so new it has never been brought to the public's attention yet: the usefulness of a vice-president who is not liked at all; who is, in fact, despised.

For an example of this, let us go to the Republican side.

Perhaps you have read the recent unpopularity polls of the current president, George W. Bush. Perhaps you have seen the pictures of protesters in Maine waving signs that said: "Impeach Bush Now." Perhaps you have Googled the words "Impeach Bush" and been amazed to get over two million results.

Well, I have. But I am convinced that this impeachment idea will never get any traction in Washington. Even among the Democrats.

Let's say the "Impeach-Bush" people get what they want. Then who becomes president? Under the rules of the American constitution it would be the vice president: Dick Cheney.

Does anyone want Dick Cheney to be president?

Not those protesters. Not the Democrats. Not even the Republicans. His name has never even been proposed as a possible Republican presidential candidate in the upcoming election. But by saying: "Impeach Bush now," protesters are also unwittingly saying: "Dick Cheney for President!"

And that is precisely why there will be no impeachment.

The question is did Bush pick Cheney because Cheney was so completely unelectable? Perhaps projecting to a time such as we have now when Cheney's unpopularity would actually protect him from impeachment? That would have been a brilliant political chess move.

OK, perhaps its very brilliance makes it unlikely that it was done on purpose.

However, as American politics evolves, and as the threat of impeachment is used more often as a weapon for the out of power party to unseat or weaken an unpopular president, this political foresight is bound to become more vital to political survival.

The difficulty for a presidential candidate will be to weigh the merits of choosing a likeable vice-president to help one win an election versus choosing an unlikeable vice-president to protect one against getting impeached.

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