The 2008 Presidential Campaign and the Law of 14
Eric, the Viking Pundit, reports that Joe Biden is running for the Presidency in 2008. As Eric points out, Biden's candidacy is doomed for many reasons, but, perhaps most powerfully, he's bound to fail because he doesn't meet the "Law of 14". The Law of 14, states that:
With only one exception since the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, no one has been elected president who took more than 14 years to climb from his first major elective office to election as either president or vice president.
George W. Bush took six years. Bill Clinton, 14. George H.W. Bush, 14 (to the vice presidency). Ronald Reagan, 14. Jimmy Carter, six. Richard Nixon, six (to vice president). John Kennedy, 14. Dwight Eisenhower, zero. Harry Truman, 10 (to vice president). Franklin Roosevelt, four. Herbert Hoover, zero. Calvin Coolidge, four. Warren Harding, six. Woodrow Wilson, two. William Howard Taft, zero. Theodore Roosevelt, two (to vice president). The one exception: Lyndon Johnson's 23 years from his first House victory to the vice presidency.
Wait a minute: zero? Right. The rule is a maximum, not a minimum. Generals and other famous personages can go straight to the top. But if a politician first runs for some other major office, the 14-year clock starts ticking.
"Major office" means governorship, Congress, or the mayoralty of a big city: elective posts that, unlike offices such as lieutenant governor or state attorney general, can position their holder as national contender.
The theory is that you have a relatively small window of time once you reach a nationally prominent office to climb to the White House. After 14 years, you're stale and voters don't want stale Presidents. And Biden, who was first elected to the US Senate in 1972, will be 22 years past his expiration date. In fact, looking at some of the top potential Presidential candidates for 2008, you'll see that some of the favorites are unelectable according to the Law. For example, in 2008, Russ Feingold will be 16 years past his first election to the Senate. Bill Richardson will be at 26 years and it'll be 20 years since the first major election of Evan Bayh.
For the Republicans, George Allen was elected to the House in 1991, putting him at 17 years, while John McCain will have been in the Senate for 22 years, and, most tantilizingly, Rudy Guiliani was elected Mayor of New York in 1991 (15 years from 2008. Ouch.). So who's left? These are some of the major candidates that still have a chance according to the Law of 14:
- Wesley Clark: 0 years
- Hillary Clinton: 8
- John Edwards: 10
- Barak Obama: 4
- Mark Warner: 7
- Sam Brownback: 14
- Bill Frist: 14
- Chuck Hagel: 12
- Mike Huckabee: 10
- Bill Owens: 10
- George Pataki: 14
- Tim Pawlenty: 6
- Condi Rice: 0
- Mitt Romney: 6
- John Huntsman, Jr.: 4
- Tom Tancredo: 10
Not surprisingly, the Dems don't have a lot of fresh candidates, while frankly, the Republicans don't have many prominent ripe, if you will, candidates. It's hard to look at that list above and really believe that the name of the next President is on it, isn't it?
Posted by at November 11, 2005 12:59 PM
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|# November 11th, 2005 2:24 PM james|
|that has to be the second dumbest "rule" ive ever read.
second only to "no man has ever been elected president if he'd ever spent an amount of time equal to the sum of half of his live counted in years divided by his hat size plus his wife's girth times her iq chewing mint gum on a sunny sunday where the 2 sundays before were cloudy and the price of oil was less than one-third the price of gold."