Recently it has been said that Senator John McCain should reveal who is on his short list for vice president, since the search for his v.p. is going on behind closed doors. And why not? Go back eight years when then-Governor George W. Bush of Texas selected former Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney to head up his vice president selection committee. In the end, Secretary Cheney chose himself as the best candidate for vice president. After eight years of Cheney as vice president, who has become indisputably the most powerful vice president in United States history, the citizens of the United States should have more say as to who their vice president is.
Long ago the presidential nominating conventions lost the right to pick the vice presidential candidate for either party. The presidential candidates have been the ones to choose their respective running mates. Some were once bitter rivals during the primary campaign season and then became a presidential ticket, like Senator John F. Kennedy and Senator Lyndon Johnson in 1960, former Governor Ronald Reagan and former Director of the CIA George Herbert Walker Bush in 1980, and Senator John Kerry and Senator John Edwards in 2004. The time has come for the voters to decide the vice president.
A perfect example is the 2008 Democratic primary race for president. Neither Senator Barack Obama or Senator Hillary Clinton have enough votes to obtain the Democratic nomination. The party is almost split on the decision. It has come to the point where the two need to be on the same ticket to appease supporters of both candidates whether it is Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama. Also with the request of McCain to reveal his "short list" of v.p. candidates, it seems ever apparent that electing a vice president instead of having the presidential candidate making his or her first presidential decision pre-presidency is what the electorate wants. During the primary election each state should not only vote for their choice for president but their choice for vice president, on a separate ballot just like in the general election.
This separate ballot primary election will once again return the stature that was taken away by the 12th Amendment and return some electoral glory to the office as well as prevent the long drawn out primary or closed door selection as seen in the 2008 presidential/vice presidential selection.