Futurology/Election 2008

According to the Constitution of the United States (Article II, Sec. I), every four years a presidential candidate is picked by his party and runs for office. The one to score a majority or 270 Electoral votes becomes the new president. It is unlikely that a third party candidate or an independent will become president.

Historically speaking there have been five ways to become President:

  • Be a military general who wins a critical campaign that affects the very survival of the United States (aka Washington, Jackson, Grant, Eisenhower)
  • Be the Secretary of State.
  • Be a senator from a very large and critical state, especially from a "swing state" that might be critical to winning electorial votes.
  • Be a governor or former governor of a state.
  • Be the Vice-president of the United States.

Of these, being vice-president seems to have the most influence, but being governor is also quite useful. Notable governors of even smallish states like Bill Clinton (Arkansas) and Jimmy Carter (Georgia) have been able to get elected.

As for being a general, World War II was the last major war for this to have worked out in this way, although it certainly is a very good item on the resume for Colin Powell to have "won" the Gulf War in 1991, and it should be of note that no current general involved with the Iraq War is certainly commanding national attention or a likely candidate as President of the United States any time in the future.

While being senator certainly seems to be useful to getting the party nomination, there has not been a senator to become President of the United States since John F. Kennedy. Nor other than JFK anybody other than a governor or vice-president since Herbert Hoover (he was Secretary of Commerce as the highest office he held prior to being president).

Democratic Party edit

Announced Candidates edit

  • Senator Joe Biden of Delaware
  • Former Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska
  • Senator Hillary Clinton of New York
  • Senator Barack Obama of Illinois
  • Former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina

Likely potential candidates edit

  • Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana
  • Retired General Wesley Clark of Arkansas
  • Former Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota
  • Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin
  • Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts
  • Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico
  • Governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa
  • Former Governor Mark Warner of Virginia

Other potential candidates edit

  • Senator Barbara Boxer of California
  • Governor Phil Bredesen of Tennessee
  • Former Governor Howard Dean of Vermont
  • Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut
  • Governor Mike Easley of North Carolina
  • Former Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee
  • Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio
  • Representative John Lewis of Georgia
  • Former Gov. Gary Locke of Washington
  • Governor Joe Manchin of West Virginia
  • Self-help guru Tony Robbins of California
  • Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana
  • Reverend Al Sharpton of New York

Republican Party edit

Announced Candidate edit

Likely potential candidates edit

  • Senator George Allen of Virginia
  • Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas
  • Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia
  • Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska
  • Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas
  • Governor George Pataki of New York
  • Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado

Other potential candidates edit

  • Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina
  • Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
  • Former Ambassador Alan Keyes of Maryland
  • Former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore
  • Governor Bill Owens of Colorado
  • Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota
  • Representative Mike Pence of Indiana
  • Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of California
  • Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina
  • Former Governor Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin

Link edit