Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 9, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

KERRY IN 2008?....From the Washington Post today:

Democrat John F. Kerry plans to use his Senate seat and long lists of supporters to remain a major voice in American politics despite losing the presidential race last Tuesday, and he is assessing the feasibility of trying again in 2008, friends and aides said yesterday.

...."Sometimes God tests you," Kerry told the crowd at H20, a restaurant on the Potomac waterfront, according to an aide. "I'm a fighter, and I've come back before."

Well, maybe. But recent history is not kind to failed presidential candidates. How far back do we have to go to find a presidential loser who won his party's nomination again four years later? Let's see....

Al Gore? No.
Bob Dole? No.
George Bush Sr? No.
Michael Dukakis? No.
Walter Mondale? No.
Jimmy Carter? No.
Gerald Ford? No.
George McGovern? No.
Hubert Humphrey? No.
Barry Goldwater? No.
Richard Nixon? No. (Though he won it in 1968.)
Adlai Stevenson? Bingo!

You have to go all the way back to 1952 to find a losing candidate who was nominated again in the next election. What's more, even the ones who manage this feat usually just go down to defeat a second time when election day rolls around. In the last hundred years, only one person has ever come back from losing a presidential election to eventually become president: Richard Nixon. I don't think this is merely a coincidence, either.

Kerry is fighting some mighty long odds here....

Kevin Drum 2:14 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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