The Presidential Campaign : The Campaign

Decent Essays

When the 2016 presidential campaign began, no one expected that the big collection of current and former governors would slide to the back of the pack. Governors once had an inside track to the White House. Is that a thing of the past? It’s hard to say for sure yet -- but the current governor-candidates have all had trouble. The ones with the most experience in governing have had the hardest time exciting citizens, while those with the least experience have created the most buzz.
Among Republicans with experience, Louisiana 's Bobby Jindal, Texas ' Rick Perry and Wisconsin 's Scott Walker have dropped out. George Pataki (New York) hasn 't escaped the second-string debate squad, while Chris Christie (New Jersey), Mike Huckabee (Arkansas) and John Kasich (Ohio) have also been mired in the bottom tier. The heir presumptive, Jeb Bush (Florida), found himself hemmed in from his first steps out of the gate.
It hasn’t been much different for the Democrats. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has gasped for oxygen, and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island couldn’t survive a disastrous debate performance.
What’s going on here? After all, governors have been winning presidential elections pretty consistently in recent times and in the nation’s history. In all, 17 presidents -- nearly 40 percent of the total -- have first served as governor. From 1901 (Theodore Roosevelt) through 2009 (George W. Bush), governors held the White House for 62 years, nearly three-fifths of the time.

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