Who are the best American Vice Presidents of all time? Joe Biden is one of my favorite people in the news. I somehow have total respect for him and, yet, expect him to be running around the White House with a double beer can helmet. There’s the Biden-Obama memes, his smiling face, and of course the fact that he went from being the 6th youngest senator ever in 1972, to the 4th most senior senator and then the Vice President of the United States for the past 8 years.
There is more to Joe Biden than silliness. For instance, did you know his middle name was Robinette? How will there ever be another Vice President who can compare to him? Seriously. I’m going to write that sentence again because I just found out and it makes me so happy. The man’s middle name is Robinette.
He’s also shown tremendous strength when faced with personal tragedy in the public eye. First in 1972, his wife and daughter were killed in a car crash, and his two young sons were badly injured. He was sworn into office, as a 30-year old senator, next to his son’s hospital bed. He balanced the duty of fatherhood and civil service in a remarkable way. More recently, Biden was dealt another blow when his son Beau died of brain cancer last May. Biden, the consummate family man married his second and current wife, Jill, in 1977—after proposing 5 times.
His appeal is his openness, his vulnerability, and the way he somehow taps the fount of American emotion is a huge draw. Joe Biden is America’s mascot whether he is presiding over a Senate tie, making a speech to our Armed Forces in a sweet pair of aviator sunglasses, massaging the shoulders of a woman biker or beating the President to the punch of announcing his unrelenting support of gay marriage—perhaps even forcing him to move faster on the marriage issue than he may have planned.
Certainly Biden isn’t perfect. And, he isn’t on our list of best American Vice Presidents of all time. But, he helped pass the Violent Crime Control Act or the crime bill, which is in part responsible for the country’s mass incarcerations. This was during a climate when Democrats were being called out on the carpet for being soft of growing crime. Still, he also chaired the Senate hearings on the Anita Hill case against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. In retrospect many viewed him as mistakenly not calling witnesses who could’ve corroborated Hill’s sexual harassment allegations or holding Thomas’s feet to the fire.
Certainly those points aren’t to be overlooked or forgotten. In a long career, over several decades there is bound to be many things a politician, or anyone really wishes they could take back, redo do, or undo completely. Still with an eye toward his Vice Presidency—you’ll never find someone as special as Joe.
However, there are many other great or nefarious Vice Presidents. Here are 5 others who are certain to go down in history as 5 Vice Presidents We Will Never Forget. To disagree with former Vice President Nance Garner’s famous one-liner, they are all certainly worth a bucket of warm piss. Here is our list of the best American Vice Presidents of all time: