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Being the U.S. VP -- hot seat or just spare seat?

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Donald Trump's challenger in the U.S. election, Joe Biden, is soon to announce his vice presidential pick.

But what does a VP really do?

Do they matter?

The vice presidency may not be quite as frustrating and bewildering as the portrayal given by Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the HBO series "Veep." But still...

Veeps warm up for the main act. They go around the country telling people how great the president is.

And even if they work in one of the world's most famous buildings, the White House, there won't be many streets named in their honor.

The title's "not worth a bucket of warm spit," in the quaint words of Franklin Roosevelt's vice president, John Nance Garner.

Yet VPs matter hugely for one reason. This is the job, as the saying goes, "a heartbeat away from the presidency."

John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson all found themselves in the top job after the sitting president died.

In Johnson's case, it was upon the 1963 assassination of........

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