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Yankee Pot Roast
  • Most Underrated Vice-Presidents: Henry Wallace

    Henry Wallace (33rd Vice President, 1941-1945) is the overlooked middle child of FDR's vice presidents three, the Jan Brady to John Nance Garner's adorable Cindy and Harry Truman's adored Marcia.

    Though the VP was little more than a figurehead in Wallace’s time, he didn't just sit on his ass and play golf, breaking the occasional tie in the Senate. Roosevelt put him to work, as chairman of the Board of Economic Warfare (BEW) and of the Supply Priorities and Allocations Board (SPAB) in 1941, both of which turned out to be influential positions in World War II. Thankfully, no VP since has had such power over doling out contracts during wartime. We’ve really dodged a bullet there.

    Wallace was a strident Liberal who criticized the perpetrators of race riots in Detroit (during times of segregation), suggesting that it was difficult to fight the Nazis while condoning bigotry. And his 1943 goodwill tour of Latin America shored up support for the U.S. against the axis powers in WWII.

    His outspokenness and public feuds with other officials ultimately cost him a shot at being president. In an effort to appease the Conservative side of his party, Roosevelt (widely assumed by the Democrats to be too ill to complete a fourth term if re-elected) stripped Wallace of his posts and abandoned him for Marcia, er, Truman in 1944.

    Brought to you by Yankee Pot Roast and Underrated: The Yankee Pot Roast Book of Awesomely Underappreciated Stuff.

    See also: Dan Quayle, George Clinton

    Tags: Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman
  • Most Underrated Vice-Presidents: George Clinton

    No, this George Clinton (4th Vice President, 1805-1812) did not descend in funkadelic fashion upon the White House. However, this George Clinton did pack some funk of his own.

    He's one of only two men to date so good at being sidekicks that they served under two presidents: Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. George Clinton was Robert Horry before the real Big Shot Rob was knocking down threes as the Sixth Man on seven NBA championship teams.

    G.C. practically invented patriotism: When the Founding Fathers were ratifying the Constitution, Clinton said, "Yes, yes, this document of governance is fine and dandy for managing these united states, but how about a motherfucking bill guaranteeing my motherfucking rights as a citizen? Eh?"

    Yup, he would not sign his Hancock until the Bill of Rights was added to it. And then, this cool cat says, "What's with all the high taxes we're paying?" To keep taxes down, he seized and sold and sold the property of British loyalists. Fucking Tory motherfuckers.

    That same Bill of Rights has helped pave the way for our pursuit of funk so deep we could cave the roof in.

    Thanks, George!

    Brought to you by Yankee Pot Roast and Underrated: The Yankee Pot Roast Book of Awesomely Underappreciated Stuff.

    See also: Dan Quayle

    Tags: James Madison, Thomas Jefferson
  • Most Underrated Vice-Presidents: Dan Quayle

    In honor of misunderestimations flying rampantly around tonight's vice-presidential debate, we asked Geoff Wolinetz, Nick Jezarian and Josh Abraham — editors of the hilariously funny Yankee Pot Roast and authors of Underrated: The Yankee Pot Roast Book of Awesomely Underappreciated Stuff — to count down some of the most underrated veeps, which we'll be featuring as the world spends the next few days trying to make sense of the Palin/Biden debate.

    Poor ol' James Danforth Quayle (44th Vice President, 1989-1993).

    Sure, he's no Jack Kennedy, and, frankly, he wasn't much of a vice-president.

    His biggest political fight was an attack on Murphy Brown — which he lost. But he is, technically, underrated because he took a whole lot of crap from the media for being a moron, and, upon his exit from the political stage, it looked like his only legacy was that of being the hands-down stupidest person ever to be elected to office.

    But… uh… in hindsight… the depths of electable stupidity can be plumbed much, much lower. So what, he misspelled "potato" and completely bungled-slash-proved the concept of a mind being a terrible thing to waste. Those are actually kind of insignificant. You cannot misspell your way into war, recession, global warming, and worldwide contempt.

    And, hey, even though Quayle thought Mars was about as far from the sun as earth, at least he was a moron who believed in science.

    And as far as Veeps go, which is worse: innocent stupidity or willful malfeasance?

    Tags: Dan Quayle