A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 24, 2012
Veepstakes (Veep + sweepstakes)

"Veepstakes” (Veep + sweepstakes) is the selection contest for a vice presidential candidate. The jocular usage has been cited in print from at least 1952 and 1964, but began to be popularly used in the 1970s.


Wiktionary: Veepstakes
Etymology
Blend of Veep and sweepstakes.
Noun
Veepstakes
(plural only)
1.(US, politics, humorous) Process by which candidates for the Presidency of the United States choose a running mate.

Wikipedia: Veepstakes
Veepstakes describes the quadrennial process in which candidates for President of the United States select a running mate. If the ticket wins, the running mate becomes the Vice President of the United States and first in line to the presidency.

Origin
The phrase was originally used in the Hotline political newsletter during the 1988 presidential campaign.

13 May 1952, Evening World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 25, col. 3:
Veepstakes Provide Laughs
Even in Serious Campaign

By Earl Wilson
New York.
What America needs now is comedy—so, hurry, we’re getting ready to elect a Vice-President!

Sure, we elect a Boss Man, too, but it’ll be the Veepstakes that’ll provide the laughs.

26 August 1964, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), pg. 8, col. 1:
McCarthy, No. 2
in Veepstakes,
Is Wooing Ohio

ATLANTIC CITY—Sen. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota telephoned Albert S. Porter of Cleveland yesterday for a sounding on his vice presidential chances.

27 August 1964, Hutchinson (KS) News, pg. 1, col. 9:
Intercepted Letter
HUBERT HUMPHREY
Atlantic City, N.J.
Dear VP Nominee:
Our congratulations to the Veepstakes champ.
Yours,
Hutch

Google News Archive
13 Juy 1972, Gadsden (AL) Times, pg. 1, col. 7:
VEEP-STAKES LIST WIDENS
MIAMI BEACH, FLa. (AP)—Sen. George McGovern, climaxing his dramatic rise from political obscurity by winning the first-ballot nomination of a divided Democratic party, was considering a broadening list of vice-presidential possibilities today after Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s bid.

Google Books
Scoop:
The life and politics of Henry M. Jackson

By Peter J. Ognibene
New York, NY: Stein and Day
1975
Pg. 117:
When he got there, Jackson learned that the Veepstakes now had a third entrant: Lyndon Johnson.

17 June 1976, Chicago (IL) Tribune, sec. 2, pg. A2:
Better odds in Veepstakes
There is a growing conviction in this country that our method of selecting vice presidential candidates is absurd. Indeed, it hardly deserves to be called a method. What normally happens is that a party’s presidential nominee decides on a running mate as a kind of afterthought.

10 June 1984, The Sun (Baltimore, MD), pg. C6:
The Veepstakes
(...)
As the Democratic veepstakes begin, Mr. Hart has to be one of the prime contenders.

OCLC WorldCat record
And Now, The Veepstakes: Dole is counting on a crucial boost from his Vice-Presidential choice
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: BUSINESS WEEK -NEW YORK- INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY EDITION- no. 3468, (1996): 38
Database: British Library Serials

OCLC WorldCat record
CAMPAIGN ‘96: The Veepstakes Heat Up - Dole favors Tom Ridge, but can he afford to marry for love?
Publisher: [New York, etc., Time Inc.]
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: Time. 148, no. 7, (1996): 55
Database: ArticleFirst

OCLC WorldCat record
The “Veepstakes”: Strategic Choice in Presidential Running Mate Selection
Author: Lee Sigelman; Paul J Wahlbeck
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: American Political Science Review, Dec., 1997, vol. 91, no. 4, p. 855-864
Database: JSTOR

Google Books
Safire’s Political Dictionary
By William Safire
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2008
Pg. 776:
Newsweek, in a 1967 article on candidates for the Repubican vice-presidential nomination, said that Governors Love, Kirk, and Chafee and Senators Tower and Javits were entries in “The Veepstakes.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Saturday, March 24, 2012 • Permalink