Picking the Vice President

Elaine C. Kamarck ’72

The past three decades have seen important changes in the U.S. vice presidency—specifically, the rationale for why particular running mates are chosen and the role of vice presidents once in office. Until 1992, the selection served to “balance” the ticket. Bill Clinton changed that when he chose Al Gore as a “partner” in governing, and subsequent presidents have followed that pattern. In Picking the Vice President: How Picking the Vice President Has Changed—and Why It Matters, Elaine C. Kamarck ’72 examines this development and the changes in the presidential nomination system that drove it. (Brookings Institution Press, 2020)

Elaine Kamarck is a senior fellow in the Governance Studies program and director of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution. An expert on American electoral politics and government innovation and reform, she is also a lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.