Vice President Kamala Harris
The position of America’s vice president carries no Constitutional duties except to succeed to the presidency if the incumbent dies in office or is otherwise unable to do the job; to preside over the Senate in a mostly ceremonial way; and to break tie votes.
Once dismissed by a former occupant as “not worth a bucket of warm spit,” over the years the vice presidency has emerged as a more respected position as holders of the office became closer advisers to the presidents who shaped policy at the highest level.
In all, 15 vice presidents went on to become president, including Joe Biden. Eight succeeded to the top job because of a death. And a few became the most consequential vice presidents in U.S. history because they strongly influenced decisions made in the Oval Office.
Kamala Harris, the current vice president, has not yet emerged as a power player in the Biden administration but her role is still evolving. She is already a historic figure as the first African American woman to hold the post. If Biden doesn't run for re-election in 2024, Harris would be at the center of American politics as a possible successor.
Veteran White House correspondent, historian, and author Ken Walsh explores how those who served in the second-highest post in American government contributed to the evolving state of the vice presidency.
- If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
- Unless otherwise noted, registration for online programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
- Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
- Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
- View Common FAQs about our online programs presented on Zoom.