Naturally, the opposition to this view was based on Palin being McCain's running mate (since this was pre-election). My opinion is that it should have been Biden being Obama's that caused more of a stir toward this idea. Or Cheney being Bush's. Or Gore being Clinton's. Etc. Mediocre political figures with an occasionally distinct ideological bent should not be that close to the Presidency. And naturally the article wasn't very thorough at explaining why this might be a good idea other than "Palin's crazy!, we could be screwed!". I can't expect much from a journalist or op-ed piece these days.
For example, saying France or Mexico doesn't have a Vice Presidency doesn't quite explain their political systems. There are LOTS of federalist political systems around the world that don't have a "Vice President". One reason is usually that they use some sort of Parliamentary politics instead of our electoral, winner take all, system. There's no need for a VP simply because the lines of succession are setup differently in a parliamentary system.
They did at least give the same basic solution as me (because that's a pretty old and frequently recycled solution). But without examining it in any detail, it's easy for people to overlook the solution and focus on why someone brings up the problem in the first place. In that case, it was an ideological reason. Which is useful to note, but not very useful as far as creating a reform in the underlying system. I'm not that worried about an ideological shift in the country occurring as a result of an unfortunate, unforeseen change of President. I'm more worried about mediocre people serving, people who would not nearly be the democratic choice of the people and hence have no business serving in such a high position of public service, and then I worry about ideological shifts later.
*Landmarks*, by Robert Macfarlane
25 minutes ago