'View' Co-Hosts Clueless on Constitutional History

The co-hosts of "The View," where many people apparently get their news, have proven their ignorance on the Constitution and American history. On the March 5 episode, Whoopi Goldberg proposed that the runner up in a presidential election should be the vice president, as if it were a new and innovative idea. Joy Behar, who claims to be well researched exclaimed "it’s not the way the founders thought of it."

Actually, it was. Article II Section I of the Constitution states:

"In every case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President."

In 1796, this led to John Adams’ opponent, Thomas Jefferson, as vice president. The 12th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1804, fixed that clause and remains the selection process to this day.

"The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President...they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President."

When Barbara Walters offered the hypothetical scenario with a president and vice president of different parties, she and Elisabeth Hasselbeck claimed, "they’d get nothing done." Considering it is the president who makes policy and the vice president’s only power is to break a tie in the Senate, it is very unlikely it will lead to gridlock in the Executive branch.

Later in the show, Dan Rather appeared and Joy Behar, who called Ralph Nader "sexy" called the former CBS anchor a "sex god."

BEHAR: And apparently you’re a sex god because, just before you came out, one of the people on the staff, I won’t mention names said, "you know, he’s very sexy." Did you ever hear that before?

DAN RATHER: No, never in my life.

The transcript is below.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Can I ask you a question? Maybe you guys have the answer to this. How come we don’t just gather up all of the votes, who got the most votes, okay you’re the president? Who got the second amount of votes, okay, you’re the vice president. You know, and go that way.

JOY BEHAR: By popular vote you mean.

GOLDBERG: Yeah, why can’t, why can’t we.

BARBARA WALTERS: Look at politics. If you’re looking at politics supposedly what you’d want to do is have more of a balance. If both people- let’s say it’s Hillary- I’m not sure that she would want to have well, you, you-

GOLDBERG: It’s not her choice.

WALTERS: You’d say it should automatically be Barack. But, but, it’s also trying to reach out to other states. And I’m not sure that Hillary, at this point, we don’t know that she would take Barack as vice president.

BEHAR: I’m not sure that just that automatically makes you a good vice president. There are other jobs.

GOLDBERG: No, no, I’m simply saying neither is getting elected, that does not necessarily make you a great president.

BEHAR: That’s true.

GOLDBERG: So I’m saying-

WALTERS: On your terms, Huckabee should be John McCain’s vice president.

GOLDBERG: If, if, if, well, but you see, you hear what I’m saying, whoever got the most amount of votes. So if Hillary gets the most amount of votes and the second most amount of votes gotten is John McCain, why wouldn’t they have to work together?

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Well, they should have to.

BEHAR: Well, you mean cross parties? Oh my God!

GOLDBERG: You know what a concept. What a concept.

BEHAR: It’s not the way the founders thought of it.

GOLDBERG: No, but you know, this is the way we’re living is not the way the founders thought of it either. There’s a lot of changes that have happened, and maybe we need to re-look at this one.

BEHAR: Well, that’s a big one.

GOLDBERG: Yeah, well, shoot, a black man in the White House is a gigantic change.

BEHAR: Thomas Jefferson would be proud.

WALTERS: Then every election from here on would have a Republican president and Democratic vice president-

GOLDBERG: If that’s how we voted.

WALTERS: Then a Democratic president and a Republican-

HASSELBECK: They’d get nothing done.

WALTERS: You get nothing done.

GOLDBERG: Well, but you know what? If it was in the hands of the people, I don’t think the people would sit for it.

[...]

BEHAR: And apparently you’re a sex god because, just before you came out, one of the people on the staff, I won’t mention names said, "you know, he’s very sexy." Did you ever hear that before?

DAN RATHER: No, never in my life.

Audio also available here (709 kB | 1:30).