Sarah Palin is also taking some fire for embellishing the role of vice president in answering a question from a third grader.
An interviewer for KUSA-TV in Denver asked, "Brandon Garcia wants to know, 'What does the vice president do?"'
Palin replied, "That's a great question, Brandon, and a vice president has a really great job, because not only are they there to support the president's agenda, they're like the team member, the teammate to that president."
"But also, they're in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to, they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom. And it's a great job and I look forward to having that job," she added.
While the vice president presides over the Senate and breaks tie votes, the position comes with no official policymaking power. The constitutional role of vice president is to step in if the president dies in office, resigns, is removed, or becomes incapicated.
Palin seemed to describe the vice presidency in a similarly expansive way during the vice presidential debate. "I'm thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are," she said.
Democrats have criticized Dick Cheney for expanding the role of vice president under President Bush, particularly on energy policy and national security.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.