Sarah Palin still does not understand American Presidential and Vice-Presidential politics despite being the Republican nominee for Vice-President in 2008. This is not surprising due to her limited knowledge of United States history that was clearly demonstrated with her version of the Paul Revere story.
Losing Vice-Presidential candidates became irrelevant with one major exception. The last losing Vice-Presidential candidate who ascended to the Presidency was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was on the losing end of the 1920 race. The Republican ticket of Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge handily defeated James M. Cox and Franklin Delano Roosevelt by a 60% to 34% margin, according to “The American Presidency Project: Election of 1920.” It took 12 years but FDR overcame polio, and was elected Governor of New York in 1928 before being elected President of the United States in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944 as noted in Franklin D. Roosevelt.biography website.
Since FDR, no losing Vice-Presidential Candidate has ever gone on to be elected President of the United States. Only twice has their Party nominated them and both times, they were easily defeated. Bob Dole, as running mate of Gerald Ford lost in 1976 and then after three subsequent tries to get the nomination lost to Bill Clinton in 1996 49% to 41% with third party candidate Ross Perot getting about 8.5% of the vote as noted in “The American Presidency Project: Election of 1976.”
Walter Mondale did even worse on the Democratic side. After defeating Ford and Dole in 1976 as the running mate to Jimmy Carter, the Carter-Mondale ticket lost to Reagan-Bush in 1980. Mondale, running in 1984 as his Party’s Presidential nominee lost to Reagan in a landslide 59% to 41% and only won his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia. However, Mondale did set the stage for Palin in 2008 when he selected Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate; the first female afforded that honor as documented in “The American Presidency Project: Election of 1984.”
Of the losing Vice-Presidential candidates in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 only two names had a later impact. Losing candidate in 2004 John Edwards ran in 2008 but lost out to Barack Obama. The losing 2000 Vice-President Democratic candidate Joseph Lieberman was John McCain’s first choice for Republican Vice-President in 2008 and had been elected Senator as an Independent in 2006. He was considered too liberal on social issues and thus the nod went to Sarah Palin instead as noted in the book “Game Change” by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.
So what has Sarah Palin learned from losing Vice-Presidential Candidates from 1984 to 2004 respectively: Geraldine Ferraro, Lloyd Bentsen, Dan Quayle, Jack Kemp, Joseph Lieberman, and John Edwards?
The answer is “go rogue” and try a short cut to the Presidency instead. Do not run for President the traditional way by hiring a staff, raising money, and entering the primaries and caucus and trying to get on the ballots in all 50 states, District of Columbia, and a few island territories. Also, do not participate in any of the 20 televised television debates held across the country with the other original 9 candidates which eventually were whittled down to four at the final debate. Instead, write a couple books, take a bus tour to a few states, and give your opinion on a few issues on Twitter, Face book, right wing radio programs, and Fox News.
Now, with the distinct possibility that none of the final four candidates will be able to accumulate 1,144 delegates before the Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida in August 2012, offer yourself up as the candidate that can ride to the rescue at the convention and become the Party’s nominee after the first ballot shows there is no winner.
Also, to make up for not participating in the 20 Republican debates held during the campaign that would properly “vet” a candidate and hear one’s positions on a variety of issues, instead issue a challenge to debate the President of the United States before the primary season is over.
That is a great way to circumvent the political process and not have to worry about all those Republican voters in the caucuses and primaries. It would be like participating in the NCAA tournament and getting byes in the first five rounds and going straight to the finals, never having to have qualified for the tournament and not even playing one game at all.
That is Sarah Palin’s pathway to success. Do not even finish your one term as Governor, no reading or studying on the issues, no campaigning, no debates, no fundraising, and not facing a single voter on the road to the nomination.
Yet, Sarah Barracuda, the basketball star, needs to listen to the head coach of the Chicago Bulls Tom Thibodeau if she thinks her strategy is going to work. After a disappointing loss to the Portland Trailblazers on March 16, 2012, according to Yahoo! Sports, the Coach stated, “You have got to put the work into your preparation to win. I have said this many times, once you start feeling good about yourself and you start taking shortcuts, you know what is going to happen.”
What is going to happen is Sarah Palin is going to find out there is no fast track or short cut to the Presidency of United States. It may have seemed there was one in 2008, but that is long gone. Losing Vice-Presidential candidates have virtually no chance anyway. The American electorate, with one incredible exception since 1920, moves on and is looking for someone else.
They look for someone else who really goes after it, and not give it to someone who just wants it handed to them, without doing any hard work to earn it.
Short-cut Sarah Palin will never become President of the United States, even in her wildest dreams.
Bio.truestory (2012) Franklin D.Roosevelt biography. Retrieved from
Halperin, M. & Heilemann, J. (2010). Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain
And Palin, and the race of a lifetime. HarperCollins. New York, New York.
The American Presidency Project (2012). Election of 1920. Retrieved from
The American Presidency Project (2012) Election of 1976. Retrieved from
The American Presidency Project (2012) Election of 1984. Retrieved from
Yahoo! Sports (2012, August 16). Bulls Team Report. Retrieved from