The Corner

A Possible Clue to The Future

Q: Other than Franklin D. Roosevelt, has an unsuccessful vice presidential candidate ever become a successful presidential candidate? — Martin Hoerchner, London, England

A: Nope. FDR, who ran with Ohio Gov. James Cox on the unsuccessful 1920 Democratic ticket, won the presidency 12 years later.

John Tyler deserves a mention, however. Tyler was an unsuccessful Whig Party candidate for vice president in 1836. That year, the Whigs ran four different candidates for president (Tyler ran for VP on two of them), in the hope that a split vote would throw the election into the House. The strategy didn’t work, as Democrat Martin Van Buren won. In 1840, Tyler was again running for vice president, and this time he was successful, as the Whig ticket led by William Henry Harrison was elected. One month later, Harrison was dead and Tyler was president. But he never succeeded in winning support from Whigs or Democrats, and in 1844 he failed in his bid to keep his job.

All this is from http://www.npr.org/features/columns/column.php?columnId=1930201 — which for some reason I can’t link to in the usual fashion.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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