By Dan Cirucci
Posted with permission from The Dan Cirucci Blog
Here’s a story the mainstream media are deftly avoiding. But it’s a story that must be told.
When it comes to being elected president, the odds do not look good for any vice president or former vice president. Let’s look at history.
America has had 48 vice presidents. But being vice president does not generally provide a pathway to the presidency.
In fact, only 14 vice presidents eventually became President of the United States. Of these, the majority (nine) assumed office upon the death or resignation of the president.
In recent times, three vice presidents tried and failed to be elected to the presidency on their own: Al Gore, Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphrey. Vice President Richard Nixon also lost in his first try for the presidency in 1960. One hundred years prior to that, former Vice President John C. Brekinridge sought the presidency and lost to Abraham Lincoln — a familiar scenario.
In addition to Brekinridge, Aaron Burr, George Clinton and Henry Wallace tried to win the presidency and failed. Adlai Stevenson, Charles Fairbanks, Thomas Marshall, John Garner and Alben Barkley also stumbled as they were never even able to achieve their party’s nomination. Dan Quayle briefly sought the presidency in 2000 but dropped out during the primaries.
In total, 12 vice presidents (not counting Quayle) sought the presidency and lost.
Only five ran for the presidency and were elected. That’s five out of 12. That means that any vice president or former vice president who attempts to be elected president has about a 42 percent chance of being elected — not very good odds.
In fact, 135 years passed between Vice President Martin Van Buren’s election to the presidency in 1833 and former Vice President Richard Nixon’s election to the presidency in 1968. That’s a very long stretch. Then, another 20 years passed before Vice President George H. W. Bush was elected president.
And let’s not forget Gerald Ford who was never elected president or vice president but who still suffered from the vice presidential jinx. Ford became vice president upon the resignation of Spiro Agnew and then assumed the presidency when Richard Nixon resigned. But when he went to be elected to a full term as president in his own right in 1976, Ford lost to Jimmy Carter.
From vice president to president via election?
Good luck with that, Mr. Biden!
Dan Cirucci, the founder and editor-in chief of the Dan Cirucci Blog (http://dancirucci.blogspot.com/), is one of the most widely honored public relations professionals in his field and a public relations consultant to numerous organizations and individuals.