Americans don't elect Senators to the Presidency (Letter to the Editor, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Posted on: Thu, 04/13/2006 - 20:27 By: Tom Swiss

On a topic I've covered before: Letter to the Editor, Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Regarding Hillary Clinton and the race for the White House ["If Clinton runs in '08, can she win?", April 9]: no, Clinton can't win.

The reason has nothing to do with her being a woman, or her position on the issues, or her relation to Bill Clinton.

Americans simply don't elect Senators to the Presidency.

Since the Seventeenth Amendment redefined the Senate in 1913, only two Presidents have been elected whose highest political office was service in the Senate: Warren G. Harding and John F. Kennedy.

Harding won the election of 1920 largely on the the votes of women, who could vote for the first time because of the Nineteenth Amendment that Harding played a role in ratifying; that's a political advantage that's hard to beat.

Kennedy was a war hero (and Americans do love to elect those) with near-superhuman charisma, but even so he still barely managed to beat the monstrous Richard Nixon in a questionable election.

Looking at the record since World War II, if the Democrats want a winning candidate they should go with a former governor, a former Vice-President (i.e., Gore), or a war hero.