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Author Topic: How many probable Presidents declined to run?  (Read 3145 times)
Nichlemn
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« on: August 01, 2011, 01:45:06 am »
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Plenty of candidates decline to run because their chances weren't great. But how many were genuinely popular enough that their decision not to run could be construed as genuinely being uninterested in the Presidency? I'm thinking of General William Sherman, the originator of the Shermanesque statement, of which this might be true.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 08:05:52 pm by Nichlemn »Logged

NVGonzalez
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2011, 03:03:49 am »
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Mario Cuomo and Colin Powell are two that I can think off right away.
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Nichlemn
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2011, 04:18:05 am »
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Mario Cuomo and Colin Powell are two that I can think off right away.

At least in 1992, Cuomo's decision not to run probably stemmed from Bush's seeming invulnerability. IIRC Powell was spooked by the possibly Bradley effect. I'm thinking of someone like Eisenhower if he had declined his draft.
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2011, 08:32:20 am »
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RFK (in 1964)

Calvin Coolidge (in 1928 and possibly 1932)

Eisenhower (in 1948)

Any Democrats who would've had a better shot at nomination than Woodrow Wilson or Franklin Roosevelt in 1912 or 1932

Any Republican who would've had a better shot at nomination than McKinley in 1896

Any Republican who would've had a better shot at the nomination for Vice-President than Roosevelt in 1900
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2011, 05:58:57 pm »
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Mario Cuomo and Colin Powell are two that I can think off right away.


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Miles
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2011, 09:23:04 pm »
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Well, the Kingfish was shot before he could run....
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NCeriale
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011, 12:38:35 am »
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Ted Kennedy in '88
Colin Powell in '96 or '00 (or both, you know how the Republican party works)
Joe Biden in '04 MAYBE
Christie in 2012
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The Obamanation
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2011, 01:46:25 pm »
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RFK (in 1964)

Calvin Coolidge (in 1928 and possibly 1932)

Eisenhower (in 1948)

Any Democrats who would've had a better shot at nomination than Woodrow Wilson or Franklin Roosevelt in 1912 or 1932

Any Republican who would've had a better shot at nomination than McKinley in 1896

Any Republican who would've had a better shot at the nomination for Vice-President than Roosevelt in 1900
Of course, my theory is that Coolidge knew the Great Depression was going to happen, so he chose not to run so they wouldn't blame him.


Anyway, I echo the Powel statements. He would have done very well against both Clinton and Gore.
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cavalcade
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2011, 02:43:21 pm »
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Are we talking about people who NEVER ran for President, or people who chose not to run for President at a time when they had a good chance of winning (whether or not they ran another time)?

If the latter, there are probably a ton...Clinton 2004 would be the most recent, with the possible exception of Huckabee 2012.

If the former, yeah, Powell & Cuomo.
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phk
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2011, 09:54:03 pm »
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Qualified D's in 92.

Qualified R's in 80.
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The Obamanation
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2011, 10:04:45 pm »
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Qualified D's in 92.

Qualified R's in 80.

I think Ford could have pulled a Cleveland if Reagan decided not to run for some reason.
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Guderian
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« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2011, 01:20:46 pm »
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Mario Cuomo would have lost in 1992.
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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2011, 01:56:18 pm »
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Mario Cuomo would have lost in 1992.

Maybe in the primaries.
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« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2011, 02:00:15 pm »
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Gore in 2008; Ted Kennedy in '68 (draft effort at the convention) or '76.
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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2011, 02:02:04 pm »
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At least in 1992, Cuomo's decision not to run probably stemmed from Bush's seeming invulnerability.

Cuomo decided later than everyone else (Dec. 1991) after Bush's numbers had started to decline seriously.
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Guderian
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« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2011, 11:23:00 am »
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Mario Cuomo would have lost in 1992.

Maybe in the primaries.

Nah, he'd win the primaries easily but his general election bid would have been Dukakis II. Bush would have swept the South and Perot would never be a major factor.
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« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2011, 06:16:42 am »
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All of them lately, which is why you've ended up with this amazing (if underwhelming) list of quite improbable Presidents beginning with Evil Dick.
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redcommander
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« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2011, 06:57:53 pm »
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General Petraeus would have won quite easily against Obama if he had decided to run for 2012. He would of course had to have gotten through the primary though.
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RodPresident
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« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2011, 09:08:12 pm »
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Howard Baker'88,  Mark Warner 2008, WJB 1912, MacArthur in 1948, Inouye in 88, John Danforth in 96.
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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2011, 02:52:51 pm »
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Mario Cuomo would have lost in 1992.

Maybe in the primaries.

Nah, he'd win the primaries easily but his general election bid would have been Dukakis II. Bush would have swept the South and Perot would never be a major factor.

Bush would sweep the south...maybe, Arkansas and Tennessee were already shifting to the democrats. But, obviously, Cuomo would be a weaker candidate for the south than Clinton was in real life. However, Cuomo would be stronger than Clinton in swing states in the industrial north. Cuomo could carry New Hampshire, Maine, and New Jersey rather easily.

Here also, it might be smart for Bush to drop Quayle and pick Dick Cheney. Cheney was in his prime back then and there was always a question about Quayle. GWB recommended to his father, nrl, for him to drop Quayle for Cheney. Bush obviously said no. You know, it might come down to who Cuomo picks as his running mate. If Cuomo picks a southerner (probably a smart decision for him), then Bush might keep Quayle. However, if Cuomo picks someone from the industrial north, then Bush might consider Cheney.

But no, from the outset, Cuomo is not Dukakis II. A strong Bush campaign could turn him into that eventually. But, Cuomo is a strong candidate with an attractive, outspoken, supportive wife. And Bush could win, but Cuomo would give him the race of his life probably.
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the birth of modern america & onward election Former Vice President Blanche Bruce defeats incumbent President Grover Cleveland in 1904. In an age of unpredictable election outcomes Bruce finds himself reelected in 1908 against an opponent whose name escapes me at the moment. Blanche Bruce served as Vice President under Frederick Douglas whom Cleveland defeated in 1900. His Vice President runs to replace Bruce in 1912.
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jfern
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« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2011, 05:49:17 pm »
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Calvin Coolidge (in 1928 and possibly 1932)

No way for 1932. Even if he magically won the 1932 election, there's that little problem of him not living until inauguration day in 1933.
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« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2011, 08:13:54 pm »
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Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie, 2012
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« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2011, 07:43:52 pm »
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Reubin Askew in 1976.
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Yelnoc
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« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2011, 08:47:12 pm »
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Colin Powell in 2000.
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Peter the Lefty
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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2012, 06:54:43 am »
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Colin Powell in 2000.
Mario Cuomo...a lot of times. 
Al Gore in 2004. 
Bernie Sanders (primary challenge) in 2012. 
Russ Feingold in 2012 (same reason). 
Chris Christie in 2012 (never say never, unfortunately). 
Jim DeMint in 2012. 
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