In season 4, Blythe becomes Acting President during Underwoods hospitalization. In my opinion he is quite horrible at this job since he is very easily influenced by others, in particular by Claire.

Wouldn't a Vice President be a more experienced and crisis-proof person?

Or is it just plot-ridden so that Claire can manifest her power and widen her influence within the government?

  • John Nance Garner, FDR's first vice president, either said the VP position wasn't worth "a warm pitcher of piss" or "a warm bucket of spit."
    – Paulie_D
    Jan 6, 2017 at 22:34
  • Nice quote but still doesn't explain why he or she would be so bad at his job. Jan 6, 2017 at 22:39
  • Well, it's TV but, from a non-US perspective, the VP isn't appointed due to any experience or ability other than the capacity to balance the electoral ticket.
    – Paulie_D
    Jan 6, 2017 at 23:10

2 Answers 2


This is not a plot hole, as you suggest.

Frank picked Blythe as his VP specifically because he is weak. While the President obviously outranks the VP, the VP is still party to a lot of the White House's dealings.

Donald Blythe is almost the antithesis to Frank. Weak, has little to nothing driving him, doesn't push for anything, polite to a fault, doesn't play the game. Frank can very easily control him and make sure he doesn't act out of line.

This is a conflict of interest in regards to the presidency itself. While it is not desirable to have a weak VP for the good of the nation, it is desirable to have a weak VP to Frank and Claire's benefit.


Vice presidents are chosen to help the president get elected (that's why they are called a "running mate"), usually as a way to "balance the ticket" and collect votes from electoral groups or geographic regions the presidential candidate is weak in... their actual ability to perform as president is an afterthought at best

  • That seems logical. But wouldn't you think that Joe Biden for example would have been less of a good leader than Obama in case he would have to become Acting President? Somehow I highly doubt that. But maybe I am not familiar enough with the American political landscape :D Apr 27, 2017 at 8:00
  • I'm not saying that sometimes a vice president would make a good president... Biden is an excellent example. After all, they are almost always a leader in their own right before they are chosen, having been elected to some office or proven themselves in some high position. I'm just saying that is not the reason they are chosen, so it is hit or miss.
    – JoelFan
    Apr 27, 2017 at 14:15

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