Three Presidents in the past 50 years made their successful run for the Presidency while out of office–Richard Nixon in 1968, Jimmy Carter in 1976, and Ronald Reagan in 1980. Additionally, Abraham Lincoln won in 1860 while being out of office for 12 years!
It could be that being out of office will again affect the upcoming Presidential Election of 2016.
On the Democratic side, we have Hillary Clinton, former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, and next year former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley all seen now as likely Presidential contenders, with Hillary having a massive edge, but still likely to have at least nominal, if not more, challenges from, at least, Schweitzer and O’Malley, based on their recent public statements.
On the Republican side, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (who is now ahead in at least one poll) seen as possible choices to compete. Huckabee surged to the lead by bringing up the need of women to control their libidos, of all things, and this is enough in the anti women, disrespectful GOP to give him a sudden lead. The fact that Huckabee, who used to sound sane, has gone berserk since gaining an hour a week on Fox News Channel, is a sign of the trouble the Republican Party is in!
Running for the Presidency while out of office has been, and may, once again, give an edge, and only time will tell!