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Three Essential Qualities of a Veep

Vice President Joe Biden jokes with Julia Louis-Dreyfus of the TV show, "Veep," as she sits at his desk in the Vice President West Wing office at the White House, April 12, 2013

Now that the election is well underway, it's prime season for the campaigns to consider their vice president picks. According to presidential historian Tim Walch, there are three things campaigns look for in a candidate.

Temperament – "You don’t want somebody who is going to blow up or be difficult with the president," he says. "They have to keep in mind that they are there to assist the president."

Competency – "You have to have a set of skills that would make that person ready to become president if something were to happen to the president of the United States."

Excitement – "You want a big bounce and bump out of the convention," although he adds that “sometimes that surprise can come back and bite you.” 

On this River to River segment, host Ben Kieffer talks with Walch about how the role of the vice president has changed throughout history. They also discuss the involvement of past vice presidents and the way Hollywood portrays the office in shows like HBO's Veep.

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River