Friday, August 29, 2008

State Legislatures - A Road to the Presidency?

The Thicket, NCSL's blog, points out today that now that Senator McCain has selected Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, Barack Obama is the only candidate on the national ballot who is a former state legislator.

Back in 2000 (geez, can it be 8 years already?) there was only one former state legislator on the national ballot. That was former Connecticut state senator Joe Lieberman. The last time there were two former state legislators running for president or vice president? You'd have to go all the way to 1936 when Franklin Roosevelt (New York) and John Nance (Texas) ran as the Democratic team.

State legislatures seem to becoming a less popular breeding ground for presidents. Of the 43 presidents, 22 have been former state or colonial legislators, however, 14 of the 22 served prior to the Civil War.

There were 5 former legislators who served as president in the 20th century, and they were Thedore Roosevelt, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Jimmy Carter.

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