Type: Review
Pages: 5 | Words: 1322
Reading Time: 6 Minutes

The majority of the Governors and Senators aspire to get the office of the President during their term. However, nothing in the United States Constitution says that the President must be a Governor or a Senator. The constitution only gives room for every citizen of the United States and must be at least 35 years old.

The public tends to believes that a person in government and/or in military experience is much better than an inexperienced person; which gives advantage to Governors.

Since Governors have many powers as a President, the state level, the US has always elected many governors to the Presidency i.e., Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, but Senators have also become elected president i.e. Richard Nixon after being the Vice President and John F.Kennedy.
Dwight Eisenhower and George Washington were both military leaders who moved to became president.

Many senators are always mentioned to be possible presidential candidates early and also during every election cycle. Most of those mentioned always bring the attention to themselves by neither declaring nor denying their intentions to vie. This leads to a period of increasing bickering in politics and in-fighting as the would-be candidates save time to self position rather than to congressionalise cooperation.

History reveals well that Senators John McCain, Rick Santorum, Bill Frist, or Hillary Clinton would  fare against the non-Senate candidates and meaning of their nomination potential.

Historically, only two Presidents came from the position of active senators. The rare feat was achieved in 1921 by Warren Harding and also repeated by John Kennedy in 1961. Harding was drafted by the default at the Republican convention in 1920 and John f. Kennedy was argued to be the most ever charismatic politician. Only 11 Presidents had the Senate experience while 17 Presidents had risen from gubernatorial field.

A look at the failed Sen. John Kerry presidential bid provides recent proves of a challenge faced by senators who are running for presidency. What was exposed during this race was the contradictory record of voting compiled by Kerry throughout his career as a Senator. He was vulnerable in the area because he appeared to often contradict himself. Each vote is a representation of the official opinion senator. This defense of opinions can become a burden to a national campaign. The burden is compounded when the senator is vying against a governor or any other executive member of the branch who only needs to defend the agenda of the administration.

Secondly, a senator’s vulnerability may come from the general lack of experience in the executive. It is too easy for the non-Senate opponents to spot out the nature of Congress. History and also a look at current team of candidates in the Senate validate the claim. Everywhere, job seekers would tell you that lack of relevant skill is frequently the worst thing of not being hired, seemingly, this point is lost on many US senators.

These factors certainly will come into play on the current cycle of election. 2 of the most mentioned candidates by now are Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gov. Mitt Romney

Romney can point to his successes which includes a massive reform in health insurance, as the governor of Massachusetts. The United States landmark insurance reform provided coverage for all citizens without raising taxes. More impressive perhaps, was the bipartisanism effort that led to creation of the legislation. Much talk of applying the program is already at a national level incase it continue to be successful in Massachusetts.

Romney may draw on this program and on other issues such as his handling of the state flooding so as to establish himself as one of the qualified branch leaders in the executive. Governor Romney had set his priorities earlier on, he brought the resources together of state government, he held people accountable on the deliverables, he made certain that the work products were in line with his vision, and he had enough confidence in the team of his leadership to delegate authority while maintaining responsibility. These statements and an overall record as a governor could raise him to the roadblock status of any opponent who has lesser executive credentials.

Learning from her experience as a first lady would inoculate H. Clinton from accusations of lack of experience in the executive that is faced by most other senators. This issue poses an interesting question to the Republicans whether or not they have the willingness to risk the nomination of someone who has less experience in the executive than Hillary.

The political and media buzz has made it easier to forget the history of the elected Presidents. Overall, the both parties have had success in the nomination of governors and also a failure in nomination of senators. This has made many to have the believe that he two parties would favor candidates of non-senate with the exception of Clinton, intensely popular with the base Democratic.

It is uneasy for a sitting Senator to be elected as a President. However, some Senators after having served in other offices have been elected, in particular the vice-president before the election like Truman and Van Buren.  

The issue is not just why sitting Senators fail; it’s about why the governors succeed at rates which are higher. So, the comparison between them is helpful. Burden has discussed a series of factors which could explain the success differences in both governors and Senators. One concerns the nature of an investment that every candidate can make:

Only 1/3 of senators’ terms ends when any given president’s does end, and there are no any  legal limits about how long the Senators may serve. As a result, the terms of the senators are not up and may casually to pursue a presidential offer without worsening their status as being elected officials. Incase the campaign never succeeds in the early pre-nomination period; one may abandon it and then return to life in the Washington city. The experience may even be helpful when testing the presidential campaigns again in future.

Many governors lack the low-investment luxury. If their terms end, many have to pursue other office or even return to personal life. They have to be serious on their presidential campaigns because as it is generally all-or-nothing. The investment degree should be more uniform and deeper for governors rather than the senators, as they have fewer to lose.

Another factor for the success of governors and senators is their differences in candidate pool. Since governors have greater turnover than senators and the differences among those people who serve as governors than in senators, the governor’s heterogeneity is greater. Part of this may comes due to the fact that the path towards the governor’s mansion is not as much orderly than the Senate path. The capabilities of natural variance in governors’ as politicians shows that many of them who are at the low end of the quality distribution may be unfit in a presidential campaign unlike those at the higher end in the distribution who are well suited for the task. The senators’ distribution of fitnesses may be tighter, which results in fewer who completely fail and fewer who naturally become presidential nominees.

Some other interesting evidence comes from a quantitative analysis in presidential contenders. Governors who vie tends to come from larger states than the senators who runs it, which suggests that the governors are more strategic and may make serious contenders for the presidency, and also tend to come from larger states with most professional governments. Evidently, former Senators running make no difference from governors who are in this respect. It is the sitting Senators who may tend to come from smaller states than the governors.


Though the senators are probably as likely as the governors to contain progressive ambition for presidency, it is argued that the differing success rates may be due in part because of deeper investment campaign by the governor. Governors may also benefit from the more careful self-selection together with those coming from larger states, specifically in the South, who are more likely to run.

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