Poll: If our Vice President Became the President, Who'd Be the Better Man?

Paul Ryan or Joe Biden. If one had to step into the top spot, who do you feel would be best suited to take over the job?


Let's hope it never happens. But the precedent is there, a part of recent history, for the possibility that our president might at some point need to be replaced.

Come November, either Barack Obama will be re-elected as the president of the United States, or presumed-nominee Mitt Romney will be elected for a first term presidential role.

Their successors, if it came down to it, would be either Joe Biden or Paul Ryan.

President Joe Biden. President Paul Ryan. How do those monikers sound to you?

If you've been around long enough, you remember Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson, stepping in for then-President John Kennedy when in 1963 Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.  And you certainly remember - or at least you've heard about - Vice President Gerald Ford taking the reins from then-President Richard Nixon in 1974 after the Watergate scandal brought Nixon's career to an end.

Anything can happen, and our American Constitution states the vice president is the first person to take command if the need arises.

This week, for the first time in the presidential campaign, we had some real focus on the vice presidency, often a position relegated to page three of the newspaper, to the second block of the newscast.

Mitt Romney named Ryan, a U.S. Representative from Wisconsin, as his running mate. The weekend choice was the top story for several days on many media outlets.

Though young, Ryan is a Washington, D.C. veteran of politics, serving his home state for nearly 13 years. Elected at the age of 29, Ryan is chair of the powerful House Budget Committee. At a time when the economy ranks as the number one issue of concern in our country, Ryan has proposed privatizing Social Security, and replacing Medicare with a voucher program for those now under 55. 

Meanwhile, Biden made headlines with some controversial comments at a speech in Virginia, as he told supporters the Republican presidential candidates and GOP lawmakers would put them "back in chains." Hundreds of black people were in attendance for the speech.

President Obama felt the need to defend Biden, saying the vice president's remarks referred to what would happen if Republicans succeeded in getting rid of restraints on financial institutions.

As vice president, Biden held the oversight role for infrastructure spending from the Obama economic stimulus package. He also negotiated bipartisan deals with Congress that resulted in the Tax Relief Act of 2010.

Both men have strong credentials. Both have strong ties to the economy, yet look in different directions in moving forward.

If it happened, if one was suddenly swept into the role of the presidency, with whom would you feel a greater comfort level? If Paul Ryan or Joe Biden became the president, who would be the better choice?

Let us know in your comments. Then vote in our poll below. 

Allen King August 27, 2012 at 03:52 PM
@David H. Perez - so because John is stealing from us, it is ok to let Harry steal from us? This thuggery is directly affecting. These insane perks and pension benefits are bankrupting local communities. Shame on people like you to support this thuggery.
Allen King August 27, 2012 at 03:55 PM
@David H. Perez - Chicken feed? This insane sick day payout in a year is equivalent to 120 police officers' one year salary. You must be on public employee pension. People are now sick with people like you and movement has started. You guys have killed the goose that once laid golden eggs.
David H. Perez August 27, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Hey Allen, I wonder how many police officers we could have hired with the BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of dollars Wall Street, the bankers and people like Romney have stolen from us? Unless you are a member of this rich elite, why do you defend these criminals, while you spew hatred toward public employees, whose AVERAGE yearly income, in reality, is $23,000.00. I must not forget, though, that hatemongers like you are not interested in facts and reality. And believe it or not, I agree with you that there needs to be some serious reform in the public sector with these huge sick and vacation payouts at retirement. Lastly Allen, you know absolutely nothing about me, so you should not ASSUME I am or ever was a public employee. You know what they say happens when you ASSUME, and it really makes you sound stupid when you make statements with no facts to back them up. BTW - I SAVED for my retirement.
Roger Pickler August 27, 2012 at 04:08 PM
It does not make me mad. I am part of the problem. These are negotiated contracts agreed upon by all parties. The citizens agreed to the terms through their elected officials. There is a benefit to the residents. Instead of no one being there to answer your call for service there is someone to help. In San Jose there is an exodus of employees not just police and fire. Fiddle with this there will be another dash for the door. You may day good but when you call the city for help good luck. San Jose employees have made all sorts of concessions but the council continues to spend. They want to give Samsung 500, 000 to locate in San Jose. How many police officers would that supply? Excuse my misspellings. You know what makes me mad is being ripped off by the welfare system. Being ripped off by people who use their earned income credit to by a 60“ hd TV instead of paying for a tutor for th eir child. Being ripped off by illegals in emergency rooms for colds, paying for food with our tax money and taking jobs from legal residents and by doing so suppressing wages. They are part of the reason for the decline in the middle class.
Roger Pickler August 27, 2012 at 04:17 PM
David you like to talk facts. Your average salary for a public employees is not $ 23, 000. You can log into the mercury website out lists the salaries of public employees.
Allen King August 27, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Negotiated contracts, really? Public employee representatives sitting on the council under a disguise of public representatives approved these insane contract in a breach of public trust. Give a name of one private company where you can accumulate vacation pays, let alone sick days. People are now sick with this illegal nexus between politicians and public unions. We are sick of paying more and more taxes so that public employees can continue enjoying these insane perks. Movement has started, just wait a few years. This thuggery will not last forever. @Perez - Average salary 23K/year? Are you on dope? Have you actually checked the numbers? Average salary of a police officer is $130K in Milpitas. And that is the base salary. When you add insane perks and unsustainable pensions, it comes out to be $300K/year. Keep blaming wall street to divert attention from the real problem on the ground.
Roger Pickler August 27, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Allen you and the Mercury act like the money is there to pay 120 officers. It is not because vacation is earned to the individual and needs to be paid to the individual. Can't be spent any other way. Sick leave payout could be stopped but that accrual still does not translate to being used for more officers. Human Nature is such that if you earn it you might as well use it. Less officers in the field because they are sick. More officers collecting overtime. Public employees deserve our respect and they deserve there contracts to be honored.
Roger Pickler August 27, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Unsustainable pensions? If they are it is because those with a fiduciary responsibility did not do there jobs. The retirement boards, retirement director (over staffing, risky investments, poor judgment and lies) and the legislative body did not do Their jobs.
Allen King August 27, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Or we can let them go and hire new ones, the ones who are not going to rob us blind using their illegal nexus with crook politicians. 10% unemployment rate, no shortage of good people out there. In the last 10 year, average income of middle class has dropped 10%. In the same period, public employee salary and perks have gone up 80%. Just check yourself. Cities are being forced in bankruptcy and local communities being destroyed because these people won't let go off these insane perks. When economy is good, we don't mind paying, but we are in a huge recession right now. But these thugs still wants same perks. They don't care about us, they just care about the money. If they can't respect us, we can't respect them.
Allen King August 27, 2012 at 04:57 PM
What are you talking about? By the way, I am not against public employees who make 60-70K a year. The culprits are upper management (who already make over 200K, they should not get these insane perks) and safety employees who are paid way too much and then they retire at 50 with 90% salary - spiked up using insane perks-- (that then goes up 3%).
Cathy P. August 27, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Public employees have been at the wrong end of a media punching bag for too long, enough already! Pensions are not the problem. Pension costs are one of the smallest growing costs in all of state government. The state pays less today for pensions on a percentage basis than in 1980. Greedy Corporations and CEOS are the problem. Recently approved tax breaks for corporations are costing taxpayers a billion dollars a year for the next five years, according to the Legislative Analyst. Meanwhile, bankers and Wall Street bosses even now are enjoying raises and bonuses while the economy continues to stagnate around them. The Federal Reserve this month published its Survey of Consumer Finances, which showed that the median American family’s net worth fell almost 40 percent in the three years ending in 2010, and real income fell 7.7 percent. At the same time, CEO pay rose 5 percent between 2010 and 2011 — in some cases it went up 500 percent (according to a survey by the New York Times).
Cathy P. August 27, 2012 at 05:07 PM
According to the CalPERS annual report (June 2011) it had estimated investment earnings of 20.7 percent. This exceeded its long-term annualized earnings target of 7.75 percent. The market value of assets stood at $237.5 billion. Over the years, investment income provides 64 cents of every pension dollar, supplemented by contributions of 21 cents from employers and 15 cents from employees. Again, citing the annual report, “Statewide every dollar paid to a CalPERS beneficiary results in $2.26 in economic activity, which we call a multiplier of 2.26 for every dollar. In 2010, CalPers paid nearly $12 billion in benefits to more than 500,000 retirees, beneficiaries, and survivors. Approximately 86 percent of those annuitants live in California and spend their monthly income in the state’s 58 counties. The average CalPERS retiree leaves public service at 60 years old after more than 20 years on the job. The average monthly CalPERS benefit in California in 2010 was $2,236 based on this study of 431,000 beneficiaries. CalPERS annuitants live in all of California’s 58 counties.” Continuing, “State retirees receiving CalPERS payments generated $1 billion State and local taxes, including almost $620 million in property and sales taxes. Each dollar contributed by state and local governments to the CalPERS Fund is invested, grows over time and when paid to beneficiaries in 2010 generated $10.79 of activity in the California economy; Central Coast (4 counties) $9.8 million.
Cathy P. August 27, 2012 at 05:09 PM
FACT: the average CalPERS pension is about $25,000 per year. Half of CalPERS retirees receive pensions of $18,000 per year or less. Try living on that in California! FACT: only 2% of Cal PERS retirees and 2.2% of CalSTRS retirees have pensions above $100,000. FACT: the entire cost of pensions for state workers in 2011 was $3.5 billion, barely 4% out of an $85 billion budget. FACT: California pays less as a percentage of payroll for pensions today than it did in 1980. The majority of State employees also have college degrees and begins working for the State when they’re 29 or 30 years old, by the time they’re in their mid-50s they have 25 years of service. At age 55, State employees take home the number of years of service multiplied by a factor of 2, WOW; they get a whopping 50 PERCENT of their pay, not full salaries.
Cathy P. August 27, 2012 at 05:13 PM
@Allen King: only 2% of Cal PERS retirees and 2.2% of CalSTRS retirees have pensions above $100,000. That means that 98% make much less than that!!!
Cathy P. August 27, 2012 at 05:13 PM
This is now so off topic, I'm done.
Susan August 27, 2012 at 05:15 PM
If anyone is wondering why a political discussion devolved into religion, in a nutshell if you're not an evangelical Christian, look out because the war on you is next. A ground up movement: Through taxpayer financed school voucher programs, Protestant fundamentalist textbooks are being authorized by evangelical dominated school boards that adhere to creationist nonscience while exhibiting hostility toward agnostics, atheists, other religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Shintoism, traditional African and Native American religions and even non-evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics. Textbooks and beliefs that exclude things like evolution and teach abstinence-only have already resulted in communities with the highest rates of teen pregnancies and lawmakers like Todd Akin sitting on the House Science Committee, and Paul "forcible rape" Ryan.
Roger Pickler August 27, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Also pensions are defered income. Employees also pay into the plan. By paying into the plan they have a vested right the plan does not change to something less. By the way public employees are jealous of profit sharing and the ability to earn shares of stock and options.
Allen King August 27, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Yea, they pay 6%. We pay 15% in social security/medicare. How much do we get out of it? This was ok when the public salaries were low 10 years ago. Now, the average salary of a cop is over 125K. Add all the perks and pension, it comes out to be 300K/year burden on tax payers. Let's see for how long this gravy train runs. @Cathy, I am talking about 60-70K salary not pension.
Roger Pickler August 27, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Allen thank goodness for safety employees. They don't make enough for there jobs. I may agree about their pensions. They are very thankful to former mayor Gonzales for this benefit. By the way just a note if they get 90% and disability they just might get more cash retired because of under the tax treatment.
TZ August 27, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Well said Roger, theres a huge problem... the tits running dry !! notice where the hate and mean comments are coming from ?? and ALL this is happening on YOBOMBAS and BO JIDENS WATCH !!!
TZ August 27, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Not to mention, cops put there life on the line, but the guy getting paid double overtime to watch a road sign all night for like 50 bucks an hr is the problem as well, everyone knows, get a city, county, state, federal job, and MOST GET CUSH, PLUS you have to kill someone to lose your job, o wait, forgot about fast and furious, I might be wrong there !!
TZ August 27, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Kathy... the hater must have had to go back to work,, after getting paid to jack around on this site all morning !!! ( im taking a forced day off, because , we cant cash out our vacation time... ) Use it or lose it !! ( private sector) As The Thread Says .... RYAN WITH CAUSE !!!
TZ August 27, 2012 at 05:56 PM
TZ August 27, 2012 at 05:59 PM
YA SICKENING, AND SOMEONE SAID HE WOULD SUPPORT TRANSVESTITES, AND GAYS... and hes a socialist ..... must be the new liberal version only purchased by the people drinking obomas kool aid !! Im goin to get an egg mc muffin, make sure someone tells michelle how good they are, LOL... like she dont know !!! LMAO
Susan August 27, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Bless your heart, TZ. Without you, my comments about the fundamentalist agenda to turn our government into a evangelical theocracy would have been unbelievable.
Allen King August 27, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Anyone who speak up about public unions thuggery is a nazi, evangelical, republican, anti-social and a terrorist.
TZ August 27, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Susan .. No wrong again ... Just want the country to go in the right direction... It's not under bam bam and bi-dim !! Bless you too tho
TZ August 27, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Your a lost soul Allen !! Your remarks of hate deserve NO RESPONSE , but bless your hateful soul
Cathy P. August 27, 2012 at 08:09 PM
ROFLMAO!!! So true...
Dave Colby (Editor) August 28, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Folks, it's time to end this discussion thread and move forward, as we've moved far past the original intent of this article. Thanks to everyone that contributed some very valuable opinions.


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