2003 October 22 Wednesday
Jonathan Rauch On 14 Year Rule For Reaching Presidency

Very familiar faces can not become President of the United States.

With only one exception since the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, no one has been elected president who took more than 14 years to climb from his first major elective office to election as either president or vice president.

George W. Bush took six years. Bill Clinton, 14. George H.W. Bush, 14 (to the vice presidency). Ronald Reagan, 14. Jimmy Carter, six. Richard Nixon, six (to vice president). John Kennedy, 14. Dwight Eisenhower, zero. Harry Truman, 10 (to vice president). Franklin Roosevelt, four. Herbert Hoover, zero. Calvin Coolidge, four. Warren Harding, six. Woodrow Wilson, two. William Howard Taft, zero. Theodore Roosevelt, two (to vice president). The one exception: Lyndon Johnson's 23 years from his first House victory to the vice presidency.

People don't want to vote for stale familiar faces for President. Rauch says that of the Democratic Party contenders for 2004 only Wesley Clark, John Edwards, and Howard Dean have a chance since the rest of them are too stale.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 October 22 01:57 AM  Politics American Domestic


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