The United States has had 47 vice presidents. John Adam was the country's first vice president.
Joe Biden is the President Obama's vice president. Mr. Biden is the nation's 47th vice president.
The word vice comes from Latin and means "in place of." The Vice President of the United States takes over for the president in case the president dies, resigns, becomes impaired, or is removed from office.
The U.S. Constitution actually does not give vice presidents much to do.
The Vice President serves as the President of the Senate where he only votes in the case of a tie. He also presides over the counting of Electoral College votes.
The President may ask the Vice President to advise him or undertake a specific task.
The U.S. has three branches of government.
Although the Constitution keeps the branches of government separated, it's interesting that the Vice President can be considered a member of two branches of government.
As the President of the Senate, it would seem that the Vice President is part of the Legislative Branch.
As advisor and potential successor to the President, it would seem that the VP is part of the Executive Branch.
Former VP Dick Cheney had an office near the Congress and an office in the West Wing of the White House. Most commonly, though, the VP is considered part of the President's administration and part of the Executive Branch.
If you want to become vice president, you have to be at least 35 years old, born in the United States, and have resided in the USA for at least 14 years.
You'll need to be picked as the "running mate" by a candidate for president.
On Election Day, states vote for electors that will cast their own votes for president and vice president. You must receive at last 270 or the 538 electoral votes to win the election.
It is possible to become president without ever being elected president or vice president.
In 1973 Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned.
President Nixon followed the process outlined in the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and nominated Gerald Ford as the new vice president.
Gerald Ford's nomination was confirmed by Congress.
In 1974 President Nixon resigned and Ford became president.
President Ford pardoned Nixon for the crimes that led him to resign.
Eight VPs have taken over the Presidency because of death of a president. Add Ford's succession to President and that means 9 out 47 vice presidents have taken over as President.
A whopping 11 of the 47 vice presidents have been from New York and many others were from large states. Being from a large state may help candidates win elections, but it probably does not make them any better at the job.
So what makes a good vice president? Since the VP's main role is to take over for the president, I think the same qualities that make a good president also make a good vice president.
A good VP should be a good communicator. This way they can effectively give their advice to the president.
Above all, I think a vice president need to know all about the U.S. Constitution so they understand their role and others' role in government. Most vice presidents have had law degrees and have spent years studying the Constitution.