Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Pawlenty VP Pick Would Be Rare: Slot Historically Reserved for D.C. Players

Bookmark and Share

Should John McCain pick Tim Pawlenty to be his Vice-Presidential running mate in the coming days, the selection would be a bit of a rarity, given recent political history.

During the past 14 presidential elections dating back to 1952, just 2 major party VP nominees had not served in the U.S. Congress: Spiro Agnew in 1968 (and 1972) and Sargent Shriver in 1972. (Vice President Nelson Rockefeller had also not served in Congress, but he was confirmed, not elected, during President Ford’s presidential tenure).

Most victorious tickets were comprised of VP nominees who had served as U.S. Senator: Al Gore, Dan Quayle, Walter Mondale, Hubert Humphrey, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. Dick Cheney, Gerald Ford, and George H.W. Bush had both served in the U.S. House (Bush had also held the prominent positions in D.C. of CIA Director and United Nations Ambassador and Cheney was Secretary of Defense under Bush 41). Several of these VP nominees had also held notable leadership posts while in Congress, developing a national political base (Cheney was House Minority Whip, Ford was House Minority Leader for eight years, Humphrey was Senate Majority Whip, and Johnson had been both Senate Majority and Minority Leader).

Those nominees since 1952 who never became vice-president have also consistently been members of Congress. Most were Senators (John Edwards, Joe Lieberman, Lloyd Bentsen, Bob Dole, Edmund Muskie, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., Estes Kefauver, and John Sparkman) while a few served only in the House (Jack Kemp, Geraldine Ferraro, and William E. Miller; Kemp had also served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Miller had been Chairman of the RNC).

Only two VP nominees since 1952 had served as Governor: Edmund Muskie and Spiro Agnew. Sargent Shriver had not been elected to any prominent office, though he had served in D.C. as Ambassador to France and Director of the Peace Corps.

In short, if selected, Governor Pawlenty would certainly stand out in terms of his lack of experience in D.C. and his overall lack of a national political base. However, Pawlenty would also stand out for his years of executive experience – experience few VP nominees have enjoyed. A Pawlenty pick would harken back to pre-1952 presidential elections when it was much more common to select VP nominees outside of D.C. (Henry A. Wallace, Charles G. Dawes, Calvin Coolidge, Thomas R. Marshall, Earl Warren, John W. Bricker, Frank Knox, and Charles W. Bryan to name a few).

Previous post: Pawlenty Disapproval Numbers Increasing Amid VP Talk
Next post: Obama Lead Narrows in Iowa While Harkin’s Lead Expands

1 Comment


  • That might be fitting, seeing that a Senator winning the presidency has been similarly rare over the same time period.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

    Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

    Political Crumbs

    Six for Thirteen

    Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


    Seeing Red

    Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting