Vice Presidents Get Day in Print

Article excerpt

Byline: Jennifer Lehner, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Who was the first vice president to die in office? George Clinton. Where does the vice president live? The Naval Observatory in Washington. Who is believed to be the only homosexual vice president? William Rufus King.

These questions and more are answered in a new book devoted to fun facts, trivia and cartoons about America's No. 2 man.

"Second String: Trivia, Facts and Lists about the Vice Presidency and its Vice Presidents," written by Dan Coen, the managing director of www.VicePresidents.com, debuts this month. Mr. Coen maintains the nonpartisan Web site, which contains biographies, news, custom portraits and interesting details about the current and past vice presidents.

"For over 200 years, the office of the vice president of the United States and the men who have served in that capacity have remained an enigma," Mr. Coen says in the book. "A position filled with enormous potential, yet often cast aside, given out as a consolation prize that was occasionally redeemed for greatness."

Since his youth, Mr. Coen said he had been fascinated by the second-most-important political figure in the United States.

"Even as a kid, I was more interested in Walter Mondale than Jimmy Carter," he said. "I think it goes back to being second string."

Mr. Coen said as a child he could relate to the often-overlooked vice presidents, since he often found himself sitting on the bench instead of being the star athlete or the most popular youth in school.

"In the United States, the president will always be number one," he says. …