Definition of Running Mate
By Dave Manuel
What is a "running mate"? What is the definition of the term "running mate"?
As it relates to the US Presidential election, a "running mate" is the person who is the presidential nominee's candidate for Vice President.
For instance, Sarah Palin was John McCain's "running mate" in the 2008 US Presidential election, as Palin was McCain's choice for Vice President, should he have beaten Barack Obama. On the other hand, Joe Biden was Barack Obama's running mate in the 2008 US Presidential election and became Vice President in January of 2009.
US Presidential candidates and their teams will carefully evaluate potential "running mates", as a "running mate" can make or break a Presidential campaign. Many campaigns will choose a running mate who is pretty much the polar opposite of the Presidential candidate - for instance, the McCain campaign chose Sarah Palin because she was thought to be young and dynamic, while McCain was the grizzled veteran who would appeal to older voters. The plan didn't work, however, as Barack Obama and Joe Biden won the election.
In some cases, a running mate will go on to become a Presidential candidate themselves. For instance, Al Gore served as Bill Clinton's Vice President for eight years, and then ran for President himself in 2000 (where he eventually lost to George W. Bush).
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