Back in November I gave a presentation based on my dissertation at the Center for International Security Studies at Maryland (where I earned my PhD.)
My dissertation (see the slides here) looked at how and why the vice presidency has become influential. Ultimately, the answer is that the U.S. has elected outsider presidents who had little experience with Washington DC or international affairs. These outsiders (Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 43, and now Obama) all found the advice of their insider vice presidents useful.
As happens so often at the end of a writing project, rather than reaching a conclusion one is left with a question - the question one really wants to write about. That's where I am. What is this advice, this magical insider knowledge that the insider vice president can provide to the outsider president.
This presentation is my first stab at that question.