With Paul Ryan Saying No, FDR Remains The Last To Do It

How’s that for a cryptic headline?

Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who was his party’s nominee for vice president in 2012, announced this week — to little fanfare — that after great deliberation, he would not seek the presidency in 2016.  The decision was not a surprise: he had just assumed the chairmanship of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee, something he had long sought.  And besides, given who is likely to step up to the plate, he was not about to be the 2016 presidential nominee.

If anyone out there has a Cox-Roosevelt picture button and is willing to part with it, it will make me very happy. It’s probably the rarest of the rarest.
But what it means is that, once again, a defeated vice presidential nominee is not going to wind up as president.  Or at least in the next cycle.  And that means that Franklin D. Roosevelt, the unsuccessful Democratic VP candidate in 1920, will continue, for now, to be the last losing vice presidential nominee to reach the White House — which he did in 1932.

A look back at the historical record shows  that no losing VP candidate — from Charles Bryan (D) in 1924 through John Bricker (R) in 1944 — ever subsequently sought the White House.  But here’s what it’s looked like since 1948:

Losing Major Party Vice Presidential Candidates:

1948Earl Warren (R) — Favorite son candidate in 1952, lost nomination to Dwight Eisenhower.

1952John Sparkman (D) — never sought the presidency.

1956Estes Kefauver (D) — a presidential hopeful in 1952 and ’56, he never again sought the presidency.

1960 Henry Cabot Lodge (R) — was the subject of a draft in 1964, and even won the New Hampshire primary that year.  But he never actively sought the presidency.

1964William Miller (R) — never sought the presidency.

1968Ed Muskie (D) — sought the presidency in 1972, losing the Democratic nomination to George McGovern.

1972Sargent Shriver (D) — sought the presidency in 1976, losing the Democratic nomination to Jimmy Carter.

1976Bob Dole (R) — sought the presidency in 1980 and 1988, losing the Republican nomination each time (to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, respectively).  Was the GOP nominee for president in 1996, losing to incumbent Bill Clinton.

1980Walter Mondale (D) — was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1984, losing to incumbent Ronald Reagan.

1984Geraldine Ferraro (D) — never sought the presidency.

1988Lloyd Bentsen (D) — a presidential hopeful in 1976, he never sought the presidency again.

1992Dan Quayle (R) — briefly sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, which was won by George W. Bush.

1996 Jack Kemp (R) — a presidential hopeful in 1988, he never sought the presidency again.

2000Joe Lieberman (D) — sought the presidency in 2004, losing the Democratic nomination to John Kerry.

2004John Edwards (D) — a presidential hopeful in 2004, he also sought the nomination in 2008, losing the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama.

2008Sarah Palin (R) — never sought the presidency.

2012Paul Ryan (R) — announced he would not run in 2016.



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