In the history of the U.S. 15 senators have become president. Only two -- Harding and Truman -- moved straight from the senate to the White House. And JFK is the only other to do it with less than 2 years between. Here's the link. So, its unusual for a senator to become president and the odds of a sitting senator becoming president are extremely low. 1 in 24.5, to be exact. That's pretty bad odds. There have been 17 presidents who were members of the House of Representatives. Most of those were senators or governors after being representatives, before becoming president. Only one, Garfield, went straight from the House to the White House. So why do congressmen keep getting nominations in presidential elections? Kerry, of course, is still a senator. Dole was a senator when he was nominated. Kucinich was and still is a member of the House. In the upcoming elections some of the big names being mentioned are Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain -- all are sitting senators. In honor of google allowing me to do so, I've compiled a spreadsheet of presidents and offices they've held -- only considering senator, representative, governor, and mayor -- here. Here are some interesting facts:
- No mayor has become president without being a governor -- this means odds are completely against Rudi, in this statistic, as much as I like him.
- 4 presidents held only the office of representative
- 6 presidents held none of these offices
- 3 presidents have held only the office of senator
- 9 presidents were only senators or were senator and representative
- 20 presidents were governors -- counting governor of territories/possessions. 17 otherwise
- 11 presidents only held the office of governor or governor and mayor
- Andrew Johnson is the only president to hold all four offices
So, will I vote for Rudi in the primary? Now I'm not sure... maybe I'll have to throw in with Romney. With this statistic, Edwards is the best candidate that I've mentioned on the Dem side -- do they have any governors talking about running? And I don't see Edwards beating Obama or Clinton. I guess it will be an interesting race, and its still early, so maybe we'll see a governor appear for the Dems later on, a-la Bill Clinton.