Racing for silver

Meet the Vice President candidates for the upcoming election

With the election season coming up, many people are taking a closer look into the candidates, trying to get to know who they are and what it is they stand for.

Of course people are not merely voting for just Obama or Romney, but rather for a team which includes the vice president. With Obama comes current Vice President Joe Biden, while Romney has Representative Paul Ryan on his side.

Under the Constitution, the vice president is not only second in command when it comes to executive power in the nation, but is also president of the Senate. As president of the Senate, the vice president has the authority to cast a vote when it is necessary to break a tie in the Senate. The vice president is also first in the line of presidential succession meaning that he will be first selected to become president in the event that the president dies, resigns or is removed from office.

Current Vice President Biden was born in Scranton, Penn. in 1942. He is married with three children and is a Roman Catholic. He is pro-choice and believes the federal government should be involved in the economy to regulate business and to provide a safety net for Americans.

Biden supported the bailouts in 2009 and believes healthcare is a basic right which must be provided by the government. He supports the rights of LGBT couples to get married. Prior to his position as vice president, he was a Democratic Senator and had been in office since 1981.

Ryan was born in Janesville, Wisc. in 1970. Like Biden, Ryan is married with three children and is a Roman Catholic. Ryan describes himself and being “as pro-life as they come” and has voiced support for prosecuting women who have abortions.

Ryan prefers a free-market approach to economics and cited controversial thinker, Ayn Rand, as a strong intellectual influence over his political philosophy. He does not believe healthcare is a basic right and opposes Obama’s healthcare plan. He supports Constitutional amendments to define marriage as between one man and one woman and another to ban flag burning. He supported the bailouts in 2009 and was a supporter of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. He has been a member of Congress since 1999.

In this current political climate, there is much debate of controversial issues going on in Washington, and in these regards Ryan and Biden are very much on different sides.

On Oct. 11 at 9 p.m. eastern time, these two candidates will partake in the first vice-presidential debate in which they will have a chance to explain their ideas and critique those of their opponent.

While the vice president may not be as visible to voters as the president, the vice presidency is still very much an important office in government. This office is one which voters will have to choose to fill this November.