06/13/2014 02:46 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Frank Rich: Vice Presidents Are Politically 'Castrated'

The office of vice president has seen a bit of a pop cultural resurgence recently with television series like "Veep" and "House of Cards" that place the VP at the center of the action. But columnist Frank Rich says the position amounts to nothing more than being "standby equipment."

Rich, who acts as an executive producer on "Veep," joined HuffPost Live's Josh Zepps for a panel on the country's vice presidential obsession that also included Ron Klain, former chief-of-staff to Vice President Joe Biden, and Joel K. Goldstein, author of "The Modern American Vice Presidency." Rich said vice presidents are confined by their lack of Constitutional powers, which includes only the responsibility to break a tie in the Senate.

"You're really sort of castrated," Rich said. "You can go to a lot of state funerals, you can participate at a lot of ceremonial events, you can welcome in sports teams that have just won."

While some recent presidents, like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, have made an effort to empower their vice presidents, Rich said the job never rises above its ceremonial role.

"You never hear of any vice president who loved the job and felt fulfilled politically or ideologically or in any other way," he said.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation on America's fascination with the vice presidency below.



Vice Presidents Through The Years