Some of our best presidents have moved up from the office of Governor.

Look over this list of “modern” presidents (since Lincoln)

1860 Lincoln – Congressman from Illinois (he had served one term 1846-1848)
1868 Grant – General of the Army
1876 Hayes – Governor of Ohio
1880 Garfield – Congressman from Ohio (the only sitting congressman ever elected President)
1881 Arthur – Collector of the Port of New York (administrator of the Customs House)
1888 Harrison – Senator from Indiana
1892 Cleveland – Governor of New York
1896 McKinley – Governor of Ohio
1904 Roosevelt – Governor of New York
1908 Taft – Secretary of War
1912 Wilson – Governor of New Jersey
1920 Harding – Senator from Ohio (first sitting Senator ever elected President)
1924 Coolidge – Governor of Massachusetts
1928 Hoover – Commerce Secretary
1932 Roosevelt – Governor of New York
1948 Truman – Vice-President, Senator from Missouri
1952 Eisenhower – General of the Army
1960 Kennedy – Senator from Massachusetts
1964 Johnson – Senator from Texas
1968 Nixon – Vice-President, Senator from California
1976 Carter – Governor of Georgia
1980 Reagan – Governor of California
1988 Bush – Vice-President, Congressman from Texas
1992 Clinton – Governor of Arkansas
2000 Bush – Governor of Texas

Before we go judging Sarah Palin’s resume too harshly, it’s worth remembering a governor chosen vice-president a century ago.

A governor who had served less than two years of his first term when he was placed on the ticket as Vice-President.

He had reputation as a maverick with an explosive temper. As a state legislator, he had once threatened his committee members with a broken chair leg. His private life had caused raised eyebrows as well. When his wife died shortly after the birth of their first child, he abandoned his infant daughter to the care of relatives and fled town – not returning for almost three years.

He was only 41, and when he was unexpectedly elevated to the presidency the press and pundits of the day ranged from skeptical to scathing. He was dubbed “His Accidency.”

Nonetheless, Theodore Roosevelt went on to prove the critics wrong and proved quite successful as President. He remains the only US President to have won both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Which one of these looks more like Teddy to you?

– Rob Shearer (aka RedHatRob)