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Playing With / Vice-President Who?

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Basic Trope: The political second-in-command has a minor role and is considered a nonentity.

  • Straight: Vincent, Vice President of Troperia, only has two duties: the purely ceremonial task of presiding over the Senate, and taking over if President Patricia dies/resigns/gets impeached and removed from office. No Vice President has ever become President afterwards, so no one really cares about Vincent.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Not only will Vincent serve no purpose whatsoever if Patricia completes her term — even if she doesn't, he can only become President if everyone else in the line of succession is wiped out.
    • After Vincent suddenly drops dead, Troperia goes without a VP for years. Nobody even notices.
  • Downplayed: Vincent has slightly less power than a typical senator — unimpressive for the second-in-command, but not too bad.
  • Justified:
    • In the early days of Troperia, the runner-up to a presidential election became Vice President. The founders of Troperia figured out that giving the President's main rival too much power would be a bad idea, so they made the position as weak as possible. When the system got changed to "the winning candidate's running mate becomes VP", the office wasn't given more power because no one wanted to take the trouble to change the Constitution and, with it, the power structure.
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    • Vincent is a huge Jerkass who abuses his authority and accomplishes little of the work he is charged with anyway, so everyone in the party and general vicinity relishes in belittling his title and making him a No Respect Guy, along with preventing him gaining any palpable role, which would only make him more insufferable.
  • Inverted:
    • Vice President Vincent holds the real power, while President Patricia is a mere figurehead.
    • Patricia is old and ill. Most people who vote for her do so because they expect her to die in office — or at least be declared unfit for office and removed from power — and give them President Vincent, which is what they actually wanted.
    • Patricia loses the election, and many voters cite "I don't want Vincent to become VP" as their main reason for not voting for her.
  • Subverted:
    • Vincent has few constitutional duties, but still has quite a bit of influence.
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    • Vincent has little constitutional power, and everyone thinks he'll be yet another unremarkable VP. Then it turns out that President Patricia is a slacker who lets Vincent do her job for her whenever possible.
  • Double Subverted:
    • It turns out that Vincent's influence is due to his secondary role as a governor, which he was allowed to keep because he wouldn't be doing much as VP anyway.
    • Patricia either starts doing her own work or, when Vincent can't or won't, gets Vivian to do it.
  • Parodied:
    • Patricia chooses a monkey as her running mate. She still wins, and the monkey VP causes no problems outside of a few Banana Peel shenanigans.
    • Patricia and the members of her cabinet treat Vincent like their personal servant.
    • The official website for the national Troperian government describes Vincent's role as "standing around and looking cool".
    • Vincent attends a support group for vice presidents, past and present, in government, business, and not-for-profit groups, who are depressed by the meaninglessness of their office.
    • Presidential candidates choosing ludicrous running mates is a Running Gag in Troperia. The most recent election featured overweight Bob picking Donald McRonald, vain Mike refusing to pick anyone because he doesn't want to share the spotlight, and Alice the nerd picking her computer.
    • It's not considered necessary to pick anyone for VP in advance — voters are asked to write in their choice.
  • Zig-Zagged:
    • Vincent is unimportant to the government unless he has the skills needed to solve some new issue or the Vice President is required to solve them. But all the issues for which he's needed happen to have national and/or international repercussions.
    • Vincent is an undistinguished vice president, but the last VP, Violet, was very effective. So was Victor before her. Vanessa, on the other hand, goes on to be a terrible vice president.
  • Averted:
    • Vice President Vincent is the second most powerful person in Troperia.
    • There is no Vice President. If Patricia dies in office, the next in line is the Speaker of the Troperian National Legislature, who already has an important role.
    • Vincent only has a minor role in the government, but a recent presidential death reminded the people that they can't take for granted that Patricia will complete her term.
  • Enforced: The work satirizes the early decades of American politics, when the Vice President was indeed considered unimportant.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Vincent? Who's that again?"
    • "Vincent just died of a heart attack! We need a new VP!" "Eh, why bother? It's not like he ever did anything."
    • "We'd like to congratulate our new leaders ... and Vice President Vincent ... on winning the election."
    • Vice President Vincent is seen taking up side jobs like flipping burgers at WcDonald's. He talks about how he finds that more fun and fulfilling than being VP.
    • "Does Vincent have any political ambitions?" "No. He's running for VP."
  • Invoked: When making a new constitution, the Troperians decide not to give the vice president much power to forestall corruption.
  • Exploited:
    • Patricia chooses Vincent, who appeals more to different demographics than she does, as her running mate to cash in on his popularity without having to change her own ideas or practices.
    • Vincent is a high-profile governor/legislator/administrator (or some combination thereof) who is troublesome for his party, but he's too popular to get rid of, so the people in charge of the party make him Patricia's running mate to have him Kicked Upstairs as Vice President, where he'll do less damage to them.
    • Patricia knows no one takes Vincent seriously anyway, so she uses him as Comic Relief to endear the Patricia/Vincent ticket to the people and boost their chances of being re-elected.
    • Vincent wants to be President. Knowing he'll never get elected President on his own merits, he decides to become Patricia's VP candidate because she's very popular and no one really cares about the VP. They win, and now all Vincent has to do is hope Patricia fails to complete her term ...
  • Defied:
    • Patricia's political ads emphasize that Vincent will make a good VP.
    • Patricia's political rivals launch attack ads that say, "Do you really want to vote for Patricia and risk getting President Vincent if she dies?"
    • The near-pointless office of the Vice President is either abolished or given more formal power.
    • Vice President Vincent does things whose effects include drawing attention to the fact that he and his office exist.
  • Discussed:
    Patricia: Vincent, will you be my running mate in the presidential election?
    Vincent: Well ... as long as I get to do something — more than hope you die and I get your presidency, that is — I'm in.
  • Conversed: While watching Early Politics in Troperia, Carl asks why Vincent is so happy to be elected to the most pointless office in Troperia.
  • Implied: Vincent is the only member of the government who's never seen working for it.
  • Deconstructed:
    • The office of the Vice President is considered a pointless dead-end position, to the point where most experienced politicians actively avoid it. Patricia must pick the incompetent Vincent as her running mate because all the more skilled alternative candidates would rather keep their current positions. She gets elected and dies in office, leaving Troperia stuck with an unpopular and incompetent President for too long.
    • Vincent's party dislikes him and tries to have him Kicked Upstairs by making him Vice President. Then Patricia dies, and Vincent ascends to become President.
  • Reconstructed: Patricia's death and Vincent's terrible presidency teach the people of Troperia to take VP candidates seriously, even if they end up doing nothing most of the time.
  • Played for Laughs:
    • Having nothing to do, Vincent spends all day ranting on Twitter about how little power he has.
    • Vincent is a hilariously incompetent buffoon.
    • Vincent's party openly dislikes him and makes him a VP candidate to get him out of the way. He becomes the Butt-Monkey of the Troperian government ... until Patricia is impeached and removed from office for corruption. President Vincent makes sure to get plenty of last laughs.
  • Played for Drama:
    • Vincent is a Corrupt Politician who manages to slip under the radar and become VP because all eyes were on the presidential candidates. He can't do much damage as long as he remains in that office, but President Vincent would be a disaster. Then the intelligence agencies uncover plots to assassinate Patricia ...
    • Vincent has a title with authority behind it. He uses it, makes trouble for his party, and then gets Kicked Upstairs to the vice-presidential office. Then President Patricia is impeached for massive corruption of which she's obviously guilty. Vice President Vincent is squeaky-clean, but his own party hates him so much that their senators seriously consider acquitting Patricia just to avoid a Vincent presidency. This leads to a lot of conflict and heated debates: Some argue that it doesn't matter if Patricia is a crook because, unlike Vincent, she is useful to her party and can enact beneficial policies. Others state that acquitting Patricia would set a disastrous precedent.

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