The American constitution does not grant the vice president much power. Other than the ability to cast a tie-breaking vote in the senate, the VP’s main responsibility is to assume the presidency in case of a sudden vacancy in the Oval Office.
But being so close to the centre of action, vice presidents can forge substantial roles for themselves. Mike Pence leads the Trump administration’s coronavirus taskforce. Joe Biden oversaw Barack Obama’s plan to withdraw thousands of American troops from Iraq. And Dick Cheney all but ran George W Bush’s White House.
At 77, Biden would become the oldest American president on his inauguration day…
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