Pop Quiz: A Funny Money History of Vice Presidential Candidates

Joe Biden Paul RomneyWhen it comes to election season, all eyes usually focus on the top of the ticket. But while the presidential candidates are seen as the main event, they are often not as interesting as their running mates. With less of a need to cater to the center, vice presidential candidates can have more fun, be a bit more outrageous, occasionally make some waves financially.

With the vice presidential debate coming up on Oct. 11, it's a great time to look at financial foibles of the men and women who fought so hard for the chance to be be a heartbeat away from the most powerful position in the land. If you're interested in the bottom of the ticket -- or just want to relive some of the more exciting political moments of the past 60 years, here's a quiz to help you remember some of the more interesting people to run for office in America.

Pop Quiz: Vice Presidential Trivia
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Pop Quiz: A Funny Money History of Vice Presidential Candidates

A. Geraldine Ferraro
B. Spiro Agnew
C. Lyndon B. Johnson
D. Richard Nixon

When a 1952 scandal over his political fundraising committee threatened to cost Richard Nixon his place on the Republican ticket, the vice presidential candidate took his fight to the people. In his famous "Checkers" speech, he asked his viewers to call the Republican National Committee to demand that he stay on the ticket, and told them that there was one gift he wasn't giving back to his financial backers -- a little dog named Checkers.

A. John Nance Garner
B. Harry S. Truman
C. Richard M. Nixon
D. Lyndon B. Johnson

When Lyndon Johnson signed the bill that made Medicare a law, he did so at Harry S. Truman's presidential library. Truman and his wife, Bess, received the first two Medicare cards.

A. Richard Nixon
B. Dan Quayle
C. John Edwards
D. Joe Biden

Beginning in the early 1980s, John Edwards got a strong reputation as a "plaintiff's attorney," with an impressive ability to get huge jury awards for his clients. The high point of his career was a 1993 case in which his clients received a $25 million judgement after their 3-year-old daughter was partially disemboweled by a poorly-designed pool drain.

A. Lyndon B. Johnson
B. Richard Nixon
C. Harry Truman
D. George H.W. Bush

His significant investments in broadcasting, cattle, and private aviation netted Lyndon Johnson an estimated $98 million, making him the seventh-richest president in history.

A. Spiro Agnew
B. Joe Biden
C. Joe Lieberman
D. Geraldine Ferraro

Answer: B. While Obama made pro-consumer credit card reforms an early priority in his presidency with the CARD Act, Vice President Joe Biden was unusually silent on the issue. Little wonder: As the longtime senator from Delaware, a major home of credit card companies, he had often worked to de-fang the very reforms that Obama was promoting.

A. Thomas Eagleton
B. John Edwards
C. Dan Quayle
D. Spiro Agnew

In 1973, Spiro Agnew became the second vice president to resign the office after he was charged with tax evasion, related to an estimated $268,000 in bribes that he allegedly took while serving as governor of Maryland.

A. Richard Nixon
B. Dick Cheney
C. Joseph Biden
D. Harry S. Truman

Answer: B. In 1980, Nigeria's anti-corruption police filed charges against Dick Cheney as part of a bribery case that dated from his tenure as chairman of Halliburton. A few weeks later, claiming that Halliburton had agreed to an out-of-court settlement, the police dropped the charges.


Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.
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