Mark Hanna

The Vice Presidency NOT Fertile Hunting Ground For Future Presidents

Much of the history of the Vice Presidency, whoever has been chosen to be in that office has failed to have much impact, and has seldom been seen as a potential President.

When one looks at those who have held the office, one realizes that in most cases, even those who succeeded to the Presidency during the term, a total of nine times, would be highly unlikely ever to have become President, if it had not been for the death or resignation of the President during that term.

Would John Tyler and Andrew Johnson, picked as Democratic running mates of a Whig (William Henry Harrison) and Republican (Abraham Lincoln) Presidential nominee have ever had the likelihood of being a Presidential nominee on their own, if their Presidents had finished their terms of office?

Would Millard Fillmore, who succeeded Zachary Taylor, or Chester Alan Arthur, who succeeded James A. Garfield, have been likely Presidential nominees, if their Presidents had not died in office?

Would Theodore Roosevelt, who succeeded William McKinley, but was despised by Mark Hanna and conservatives in the Republican Party, and was put into the Vice Presidency to take him out of the Governorship of New York State, have been likely to be the GOP nominee in 1904?

Would Calvin Coolidge, who succeeded Warren G. Harding, have been likely to be the GOP nominee in either 1924 or 1928, after Herbert Hoover had made such a good impression as Secretary of Commerce during a prosperous seeming 1920s?

Would Harry Truman, who as a non controversial Senator, hardly thought about by many before he was selected to run with Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, and never having any real ambition for the Presidency, have been likely to be the next nominee of a party that had passed by John Nance Garner and Henry A. Wallace?

Would Lyndon B. Johnson, as a Southerner, after not being allowed much of a role as Vice President under John F. Kennedy, and with an ambitious brother, Robert Kennedy, waiting in the wings to run for President in the future, been able to be the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1968?

Would Gerald Ford, who had absolutely no ambitions to be President, had remained in the Vice Presidency and Richard Nixon had not resigned or been removed from office by impeachment, would he have been the GOP Presidential nominee in 1976?

The answer in all cases clearly is NO, and when one considers that ONLY George H. W. Bush actually succeeded his boss, Ronald Reagan, the only time since Martin Van Buren succeeded Andrew Jackson 152 years earlier, it is clear that had none of the eight Presidents who had died or been assassinated in office, nor the one who resigned (Nixon) would have been succeeded in the Presidency by their Vice Presidents.

And when one considers that Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale (four years after), and Al Gore also failed to hold the office of the Presidency, one has to come to the conclusion that the likelihood, in reality, of a President Joe Biden being elected to follow President Barack Obama, is quite unlikely, less than 50 percent, as indicated in the previous blog entry today!