Where Democratic Tickets Are Born
Joe Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris to be his running mate means all 12 Democratic presidential and vice-presidential nominees since 2000 have been sitting (Joe Lieberman, 2000; John Kerry and John Edwards, 2004; Barack Obama and Joe Biden, 2008; Tim Kaine, 2016; Harris 2020) or former (Al Gore, 2000; Obama and Biden, 2012; Hillary Clinton, 2016; Biden 2020) U.S. Senators. By contrast, just one of the 12 GOP nominees across these six cycles had ever served in the chamber (John McCain, 2008). At least one Democratic nominee for president or vice-president was a sitting or ex-member of the nation’s upper legislative chamber in every cycle since 1944.
Indeed, with the exception of Shriver ’72 and Ferraro ’84, every Democratic vice-presidential nominee since 1944 has been a *sitting* U.S. senator or vice-president. [Of course, the 1972 vice-presidential nod was first given to sitting Sen. Thomas Eagleton (D-Mo.), but he withdrew.]
The runner-ups in every competitive Democratic primary from 2000 onwards have been sitting or former U.S. senators, too. [Bradley ’00, Edwards ’04, Clinton ’08, Sanders ’16 and ’20]
Also, the selection of Harris as Biden’s running-mate means that 2020 is the tenth straight presidential election in which exactly one of the four individuals on the major-party tickets had not served in Congress. [Reagan ’84, Dukakis ’88, Clinton ’92 and ’96, Bush ’00 and ’04, Palin ’08, Romney ’12, Trump ’16 and ’20]
We now know for certain that 2020 will also be the eleventh straight presidential election in which the winning ticket consists of 10 or 11 letters.
Another long-standing presidential election streak looks set (as of this writing) to be broken this year. The younger presidential nominee has won the popular vote in every election in the past three decades.
1. Had Biden selected someone (XX) who had not served in the US senate, this “political crumbs” piece would have been revised, or perhaps just binned.
2. Aside from Harris – the nomination thereof is in fact subject to a confirmatory vote separate from Biden’s – western (i.e. west/northwest of El Paso, TX) D US senators who have ended up on a presidential ticket include Glen Hearst Taylor of ID (1948; Progressives); Burton Kendall Wheeler of MT (1924; La Follette Progressives), and “Joe” Lane of OR (1860; southern Democrats). In addition, she is poised to be the first sitting or former CA senator on a ticket since “Dick” Nixon in 1972, as well as the first Californian (by residence or birth) on a major party ticket since Jack French Kemp in 1996.
3. At least the Rs can righteously claim that they have had greater (resume) diversity when it comes to contenders for presidential or vice presidential nominee than the party that professes to embrace and advocate such notion.