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How many Congressmen have been elected Prez?

Presidential Elections Congressmen 2004

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#1 Drew

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 03:04 PM

Don't have the time or resources to look it up, but I was just wondering how many times it's been a member of Congress who we've elected to the Presidency.

It seems like part of the problem for Senators or Representatives is that they have almost too lengthy of a political record. We can keep track of every possible Congressional flip-flop. See, for example, that Slate.com article I linked in another thread that has a lengthy, but far from complete, list of John Kerry's many waffles. While that laundry list suggests that Kerry is a man who can't seem to take a solid position on anything (and I do believe this of Kerry), can a similar kind of recounting also suggest someone who is willing to compromise--a necessary art in Washington if one is to survive.

Compromise can spin toward "weasel," or it can indicate political astuteness. It all depends on where one is willing (or unwilling) to compromise. But I would think that the longer one stays in Congress, the more likely there is to be a record of flip-flops. And these thick, fluffy, syrup-covered waffles look like someone who can't make a decision without checking to see if it'll hurt his reelection bid.

Then there's the whole "Washington Insider" label, which is probably just a reflection of the same thing anyway. Seems like if you're a Congressman, running for President is much harder than if you've got a background as a Governor.

Edited by Drew, 11 March 2004 - 03:04 PM.

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#2 Drew

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 03:18 PM

By the way, apologies in advance to our Canadian and European friends who find American election-year politics boring. Sorry, but you're going to have to put up with this through November.  :cool:
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#3 Kimmer

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 03:32 PM

Drew, on Mar 11 2004, 12:16 PM, said:

By the way, apologies in advance to our Canadian and European friends who find American election-year politics boring. Sorry, but you're going to have to put up with this through November.  :cool:
As an American, may I say ... I wish our election shenanigans were shorter - like only a month or two for primaries and the election.

The White House Project

Here's some info:

ROAD TO THE PRESIDENCY
  • Four of the last five Presidents were Governors: George W. Bush (TX), Bill Clinton (AK), Ronald Reagan (CA) and Jimmy Carter (GA)
  • Five of the last nine Presidents had Congressional experience: George H.W. Bush (House), Gerald Ford (House), Richard Nixon (House), Lyndon Johnson (House and Senate) and John F. Kennedy (House and Senate)
  • Eight of the last 10 Presidents had military experience: George W. Bush (National Guard), George H.W. Bush (Navy), Jimmy Carter (Navy), Gerald Ford (Navy), Richard Nixon (Navy), Lyndon Johnson (Navy), John F. Kennedy (Navy) and Dwight Eisenhower (Army)
  • Four of the last eight Presidents were first Vice President: George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson


#4 the 'Hawk

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 03:54 PM

Drew, on Mar 11 2004, 03:16 PM, said:

you're going to have to put up with this through November.  :cool:
It's not the politics that annoys me, it's the amount of BS people get away with in this forum because they're speaking politically or ideologically.

:cool:
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#5 Drew

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 03:54 PM

So Nixon was the last President who went there directly from a Congressional seat? JFK before him?
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#6 Drew

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 03:56 PM

the'Hawk, on Mar 11 2004, 02:52 PM, said:

Drew, on Mar 11 2004, 03:16 PM, said:

you're going to have to put up with this through November.  :cool:
It's not the politics that annoys me, it's the amount of BS people get away with in this forum because they're speaking politically or ideologically.
Speaking politically or ideologically . . . when the discussion is of politics or ideology? You're right. That is bizarre.  :suspect:
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#7 the 'Hawk

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 04:10 PM

^ It's one thing if you're speaking on political matters. It's another if you're speaking about political parties. Don't play dumb with me, Drew. You know exactly what I'm talking about. Or should I give you an example and suggest that you're incapable of understanding due to your political conservatism?

But, of course, it's all the liberals' fault. It's all somebody's fault. Heaven forfend that we should suspend blame and simply look at politics as being equal-opportunity when it comes to doing right and doing wrong.

:cool:
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#8 Cauda

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 04:14 PM

Drew, on Mar 11 2004, 08:16 PM, said:

By the way, apologies in advance to our Canadian and European friends who find American election-year politics boring.
Personally, I find it interesting. But then I'm weird  :wacko:

Quote

So Nixon was the last President who went there directly from a Congressional seat?

Nope. Not directly. He went directly from the senate to the vice presidency in 1953.
He was out of office when he became president in 1969.
Actually there are IIRC only three presidents to go directly from congress to the presidency; James Garfield (house) in 1881, Warren Harding (senate) in 1921 and John Kennedy (senate) in 1961. Several other presidents have been in congress before becoming president, but not directly.
An enigma, wrapped up in a riddle, with a tail in the middle.

#9 Drew

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 05:00 PM

the'Hawk, on Mar 11 2004, 03:08 PM, said:

Don't play dumb with me, Drew. You know exactly what I'm talking about.
Actually, I'm more interesting in knowing who you're talking about.
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#10 StarDust

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 07:30 PM

Interesting.  I've actually been thinking about this the last few months.

We seem to only elect governors and maybe a vice president here and there.  I think it's because most people don't think much of people in congress, more and more so the last few decades.

The house is setup intentionally to be a bunch of brats.  It's their job to get as much of the goodies as possible for their area. But the senate is supposed to be about the country as a whole. They are supposed to be statesmen.  But instead they seem to be about partisanship, kickbacks, and establishing self serving power. I've noticed a good part of what Kerry complains about concerning Bush, for example, is really about issues that are much more in the hands of Congress than a President. And since he's in Congress, it seems rather hypocritical.  The President has more power externally than internally, and I think underneath it all most people know that. Most concerns inside the country like the economy, taxes, schooling, etc are all controlled by Congress. The President can make suggestions or propose bills, but he can't pass laws. And he can't pass budgets alone, Congress is equally culpable for everything. I'm not happy with a lot of thngs going on with the economy and supposed free trade, but that was all set in motion by Clinton and his Congress (of which Kerry belonged). To imply it all just happened is ludicrous.

Governors do have better leadership skills.  They are leaders in their own right. So it makes sense that they would be some of the main choices when it comes to Presidents (and generals). The problem with Vice-Presidents is that they tend to ride the coat tails of the President they served with.  People vote for them thinking they are going to get another 4 years like the last 8, but are often dissapointed with what they end up getting. More often than not, Vice Presidents are people who didn't win the Primary, right there implying a different agenda than the guy who did win. I thought the last election was interesting in that both Bush and Gore didn't pick people that also had been running, which I thought was unusual. I wonder how many ex-Vice President's that were elected President got re-elected. I don't think there are very many.

#11 the 'Hawk

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 08:17 PM

Drew, on Mar 11 2004, 04:58 PM, said:

the'Hawk, on Mar 11 2004, 03:08 PM, said:

Don't play dumb with me, Drew. You know exactly what I'm talking about.
Actually, I'm more interesting in knowing who you're talking about.
I'm not Oskar Schindler. Don't expect a list.

Take it to mean that if you think it means someone, it probably does.

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#12 Rhea

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 09:13 PM

the'Hawk, on Mar 11 2004, 01:52 PM, said:

Drew, on Mar 11 2004, 03:16 PM, said:

you're going to have to put up with this through November.  :cool:
It's not the politics that annoys me, it's the amount of BS people get away with in this forum because they're speaking politically or ideologically.

:cool:
Hey, speak for yourself. My BS is golden.  :p  :D
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#13 Drew

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 09:34 PM

the'Hawk, on Mar 11 2004, 07:15 PM, said:

Take it to mean that if you think it means someone, it probably does.
Let's speak plain. If you think I'm full of B.S., I won't mind if you say so. I have a lot of friends (well, okay, just two) who think my politics are B.S. :cool: (They're farther left than anyone I've ever encountered on these boards and we still manage to be friends. Although sometimes they really make me work for it.  :p  )
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#14 the 'Hawk

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 10:11 PM

^ You're presuming singularity where none exists.

Like I said, I'm not naming names. And even if you *were* one of those I were to name, it'd be a cohesive list, hardly just "rounding up the usual suspects".

:cool:
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#15 Gaiate

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 03:42 AM

Drew, on Mar 11 2004, 03:02 PM, said:

It seems like part of the problem for Senators or Representatives is that they have almost too lengthy of a political record. We can keep track of every possible Congressional flip-flop. See, for example, that Slate.com article I linked in another thread that has a lengthy, but far from complete, list of John Kerry's many waffles. While that laundry list suggests that Kerry is a man who can't seem to take a solid position on anything (and I do believe this of Kerry), can a similar kind of recounting also suggest someone who is willing to compromise--a necessary art in Washington if one is to survive.

If you're going to critisize Kerry's "waffles," then Bush's are fair game as well.  Despite what he likes to claim, he's not a "choose a side and stick to it" kinda guy:

http://www.dailykos....3/7/213753/1954

EDIT: Daily Kos is blatantly liberal, so here's an article from the Washington Post to back it up.  It's not a ringing endorsement of Kerry, but he looks better than Bush.

http://www.washingto...-2004Mar10.html

--Te

Edited by Gaiate, 12 March 2004 - 04:01 AM.

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#16 Delvo

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 04:25 AM

the'Hawk, on Mar 11 2004, 02:52 PM, said:

It's not the politics that annoys me, it's the amount of BS people get away with in this forum because they're speaking politically or ideologically.
You mean like ^THAT^ right there? :wacko:

Edited by Delvo, 12 March 2004 - 04:27 AM.




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