Special Report

Here Are the 48 People Who Became Vice President

Source: Department of Defense (www.dodmedia.osd.mil/Assets/2000/DoD/HD-SC-00-02946) / Wikimedia Commons

46. Richard B. Cheney
> Presidential administration(s): George W. Bush
> Year(s) in office: 2001 – 2009
> Party affiliation: Republican

Richard B. Cheney began his rise up the political ladder as a pragmatic, low-key problem solver under the tutelage of Donald Rumsfeld in the 1970s. When Rumsfeld became secretary of defense under President Ford in 1975, Cheney succeeded Rumsfeld as Ford’s chief of staff. Ford would be one of four presidents Cheney would serve. After Ford lost to Jimmy Carter, Cheney returned to Wyoming where he had grown up and won the first of his six terms in the House of Representatives.

President George H.W. Bush named him secretary of defense in 1989. That experience led Bush’s son, George W. Bush to choose him as vice president in 2000. As VP, Cheney formed a task force to undo restrictions on oil and gas exploration. Cheney was hawkish on defense and supported the invasion of Afghanistan and later Iraq.

47. Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
> Presidential administration(s): Barack Obama
> Year(s) in office: 2009 – 2017
> Party affiliation: Democratic

Joseph R. Biden, Jr., the 2020 presumptive Democratic Party candidate for president, served in Congress from 1973 to 2009, chaired the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, and ran for president in 1988 and 2008.

Biden’s congressional experience and working class roots were factors behind Obama selecting him as a vice presidential candidate. As VP, Biden helped craft policies for Iraq and Afghanistan and worked to implement the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation. Biden was also a vigorous supporter of the Affordable Care Act. In the closing days of the Obama presidency, Obama presented Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

48. Michael R. Pence
> Presidential administration(s): Donald Trump
> Year(s) in office: 2017 – present
> Party affiliation: Republican

Michael R. Pence, the current vice president under President Donald Trump, was a former radio talk show host before he won six terms to the House of Representatives as a congressman from Indiana. Pence was elected governor of Indiana in 2012. Trump picked Pence as his running mate because of his conservative record as congressman and governor.

Pence became the first vice president to cast a tie-breaking vote for a cabinet nomination when he voted for Betsy DeVos to be secretary of education. He is also an advocate for establishing an American Space Force. In February 2020, Trump put Pence in charge of overseeing the administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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