Presidential Contenders

The American West A Rare Location For Presidential Contenders And Nominees Historically

Historically, the vast majority of Presidential contenders and nominees have come from no further west than the Great Plains.

And only two Presidential nominees, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan, have been elected from the vast area west of the Great Plains. Even Nixon, when he ran for President the second time in 1968, was actually a resident of New York, while Reagan had spent his early life in Illinois, before migrating to Hollywood for an acting career.

Only two Presidential candidates, other than Nixon and Reagan, have made it as the nominees of their party, both from Arizona–Senators Barry Goldwater and John McCain.

The Mountain States have been particularly lacking in Presidential contenders historically, with only Senator Gary Hart and Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder of Colorado; Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico; Governor Bruce Babbitt of Arizona; and Senator Frank Church of Idaho having ever conducted campaigns for President, along with Senator William Borah of Idaho early in the 20th century.

Now, we have two Coloradans, former Governor John Hickenlooper and Senator Michael Bennet, contending for the Democratic Presidential nomination, and the soon to be contending Governor Steve Bullock of Montana, expected to announce in mid May.

Looking at the Pacific Coast states, we have only had Governor Jerry Brown of California and Senator Henry (Scoop) Jackson of Washington who have contended for the Presidency, along with Senator Hiram Johnson of California attempting a run in the early 20th century.

Now, we have Senator Kamala Harris of California and Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, all running for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Other than California, the likelihood of a future nominee or winner of the Presidency from those states west of the Great Plains would seem to be highly unlikely, as the population is much smaller than in the rest of the nation, although growth has been going on in some of those states, particularly Colorado, Arizona, and Washington.

The House Of Representatives And The Presidency

The history of the Presidency shows us that Presidents come from the Governorship of a state, or the US Senate, or military leadership, or from being a Cabinet member under a President.

Only one House of Representatives member has gone directly from the lower chamber to the White House, James A. Garfield of Ohio, elected in 1880, but tragically shot after four months in office, and dying after six and a half months in September 1881.

A total of 19 Presidents served in the House of Representatives, however, including:

James Madison
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
James K. Polk
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A Garfield
William McKinley
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
George H. W. Bush

Some interesting observations:

Gerald Ford served the longest in the House, nearly 25 years, hoping to be Speaker of the House one day.

James A. Garfield served the second longest, almost 18 years, followed by John Quincy Adams.

James K. Polk served as Speaker of the House of Representatives as part of his service.

While only Garfield was elected President from the House, four who served in the House succeeded to the Presidency from the Vice Presidency during a term and were not elected–John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson and Gerald Ford, with Ford the only one not elected to the Vice Presidency, but rather being appointed through the 25th Amendment.

14 of the 19 Presidents who served in the House of Representatives did so before the 20th century, with only 5 serving from the 1930s to the 1970s.

When one looks at the present House of Representatives, there are a number of Democrats who are seen as potential Presidential contenders and also a few Republicans who might join the race, depending on circumstances.

For the Democrats:

Joe Kennedy III (Massachusetts)
Seth Moulton (Massachusetts)
John Delaney (Maryland)
Joaquin Castro (Texas)
Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii)
Adam Schiff (California)
Eric Swalwell (California)

Other potential Democrats who have served in the House of Representatives in the past include:

Bernie Sanders (Vermont)
Kirsten Gillibrand (New York)
Chris Murphy (Connecticut)
Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

For the Republicans:

Mike Pence (Indiana)
Paul Ryan (Wisconsin)
John Kasich (Ohio)
Jeff Flake (Arizona)
Tom Cotton (Arkansas)

Can Hillary Clinton Be Crowned President For 2016? Not Realistically!

As Hillary Clinton gets ready to leave the State Department after four distinguished years, she is being flattered by kudos paid to her brilliance, and public opinion polls that make her, on paper, an easy nominee and winner of the Presidency in 2016!

But hold it, everyone! Our system of government and elections does not permit the nomination and election of anyone without real competition, hard work, and lots of grief and “blood, sweat and tears”!

We do not crown anyone to be President, and if you believe otherwise, ask such luminaries of the past as Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, William Seward, Charles Evans Hughes, William Borah, Hiram Johnson, Robert La Follette Sr, Al Smith, Henry A. Wallace, Robert Taft, Arthur Vandenberg, Adlai Stevenson, Hubert Humphrey, Nelson Rockefeller, George McGovern, Bob Dole, Bob Kerrey, Al Gore, John Kerry, John McCain, and even Hillary Clinton, about the conclusion that they would be President of the United States someday!

Fifty seven percent in a poll want Hillary to be President, but it is a long four years to 2016, and there will be many others who wish to be President, and the question is whether she wants to go through the same hell she went through in 2008!

Don’t be so sure that Hillary will run in 2016!

New Series On C-Span On Presidential Contenders (Losers) Who Made A Difference Historically, Starting Friday at 8 PM!

An important new series on C-Span begins this Friday night, September 9, at 8 PM, and continues for a total of 14 Fridays through December 9!

This is worthwhile for anyone who reads this blog to note, and to watch, as it adds a great deal to our history. The whole concept of this series excites me, and hopefully, all others who love American History and Politics!

The series will consist of 90 minute episodes, centered at important historic sites of 14 men who ran for President and lost, all part of this series.

The 14 Presidential losers being covered in the series include:

Henry Clay
James G. Blaine
William Jennings Bryan
Eugene Debs
Charles Evans Hughes
Al Smith
Wendell Willkie
Thomas E. Dewey
Adlai Stevenson
Barry Goldwater
Hubert Humphrey
George Wallace
George McGovern
Ross Perot

As a side commentary, this series could be substantially longer than 14 episodes, as 12 other Presidential losers that could be seen as significant would include:

Stephen Douglas
Samuel Tilden
Robert La Follette, Sr.
Strom Thurmond
Henry A Wallace
John Anderson
Walter Mondale
Michael Dukakis
Bob Dole
Al Gore
John Kerry
John McCain

I highly recommend all who read this blog to tune in to this wonderful series, and in the process, gain new insights into American History!