From the 12th amendment to the current campaign, the LA Times analyses the institution of the vice presidency and considers its historic legacy.

Bruce Ackerman from the LA Times reviews the influence that vice presidents have wielded throughout history:

Sarah Palin is the product of a design flaw — the unintended consequence of the founders’ decision to create the vice presidency. For two centuries, presidential nominees have used the office to balance the ticket by naming a running mate from a different region, or one who speaks with a different ideological accent to a specific constituency. This means that a president’s death generates a double shock: The nation not only mourns a fallen leader, it must deal with a replacement who may push politics in a new direction.”

Read the full story.