2008 election thoughts

Next year’s presidential election will probably be the first since 1952, and the second since 1928, where neither the incumbent President nor the incumbent Vice-President will be a candidate (unless of course Bush and Cheney are successfully impeached and convicted, and/or there is a series of convenient deaths). President Bush, having served two terms, can’t run again under the 22nd Amendment; Vice-President Cheney, who will then be 67, is not being discussed as a candidate.

Of course, part of this is that it is now almost certain that there will in fact be a Vice-President at the time of the election. 13 of the 29 elections from 1812 to 1924 took place with no incumbent vice-president, due to the death of either President or Vice-President in the meantime. (In 1832, Vice-President Calhoun resigned but not until after the election – in which President Jackson was re-elected, but Calhoun wasn’t – had taken place.) Since then, it has only happened twice (in 1948 and 1964) and thanks to the 25th Amendment it would take pretty bad luck for the Vice-Presidency again to be vacant for very long.

Also Presidents are now serving longer terms, and more likely to be re-elected. Although all but one of the first five presidents served two terms (thus averaging 7.2 years in office), from John Quincy Adams to Warren G Harding, 24 presidents served in just under a century, an average of four years and one month. But the thirteen presidents since Harding, not counting Bush, have served for an average of almost six years. And the incumbent was re-elected eleven times out of the 22 elections since Harding’s death, compared to only five times in the previous hundred years.

OK, on with the day…

One thought on “2008 election thoughts

  1. Probably a Doctor Who novel won’t take nearly as much time to write as one of his SF tomes. 🙂

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