I am with that small group that believes that the Vice President is not part of the Administration of the winning ticket. That is to say, he does not work for the President. The US Constitution does not have him working for the President. The Constitution has him as an "air spare," in case the President drops out. The Constitution does give him something to do--preside over the US Senate and vote to break ties.
I know that puts me in the Dick Chaney camp. Sometimes these things happen.
I don't mind the Vice President cooperating with the President and carrying out tasks for the President. But, we need to keep in mind that he does not work for the President.
You work for the President if he can fire you. The President can not fire the Vice President. He can drop him from the ticket at the next election, but that is not the same thing.
This distinction between the Office of the Vice President and that of the President has some important implications if it comes to Impeachment of the President. We shouldn't wish to have the Vice President too closely associated with the President and the President's actions, in the event the Congress decides to Impeach the President. If the VP is too close to the President, the Congress may have to Impeach them both. Then it is the Speaker of the House who succeeds to the Office of President.
I think it is wrong for the VP to have a major office in the White House.
As Glenn Reynolds noted in his blog:
What’s more, Vice Presidents, until Spiro Agnew, got their offices and budgets from the Senate, not the Executive Branch. The legislative character of that office is traditional — treating the VP as part of the Executive Branch, and a sort of junior co-President, is a recent and, to my mind, unwise innovation. That’s discussed at more length in this article from the Northwestern University Law ReviewBack in June of 2007 there was this item in the Volokh Conspiracy:
For four years, Vice President Dick Cheney has resisted routine oversight of his office’s handling of classified information, and when the office in charge of overseeing classification in the executive branch objected, the vice president’s office suggested that the oversight office be shut down, according to documents released today by a Democratic congressman.This is a quote from an article in The New York Times.
[O]fficials familiar with Mr. Cheney’s view said that he and his legal adviser, David S. Addington do not believe the executive order applies to the vice president’s office because it has a legislative as well as an executive status in the Constitution. . . .
. . . Mr. Addington stated in conversations that the vice president’s office was not an "entity within the executive branch" because, under the Constitution, the vice president also plays a role in the legislative branch, as president of the Senate, able to cast a vote in the event of a tie.
I think that Vice President Chaney has tried to have it both ways. But, that doesn't invalidate either one view or another.
I come down on the side that says that the Vice President is not part of the Administration, and his office and expenses should come out of the US Senate. That said, I believe that anything the President invites the Vice President to do (be it going to the funeral of a head of state or running a commission on space travel or some other activity), the Vice President can take on. I think the President should not involve the Vice President in day-to-day activities, but should keep him informed. We don't want a repeat of the President Truman experience of finding out about nuclear power only weeks before he had to decide if he was going to employ a nuclear weapon against an enemy.
Regards -- Cliff