6. Perot’s vice admiral
“Who am I? Why am I here?” Vice Admiral James Stockdale’s opening line to the 1992 vice presidential debate was well-received, but his subsequent performance left people wondering if the questions were sincere. Phil Hartman made matters worse with his spot-on parody on Saturday Night Live, immortalizing Stockdale as an all-time bad choice for a vice presidential candidate. The Perot/Stockdale ticket eventually lost the election, but they did earn 19 percent of the vote – and unprecedented amount for a third party. Stockdale is remembered today as a man who was thrust into unenviable circumstances. He had no formal preparation and he wasn’t notified of his participation until a week before the debate.