In recent news, Secretary of State John Kerry has said that he has not ruled out a run for the Presidency in 2016. His last attempt was in 2004 when he lost to President George W. Bush. If he were to run, his greatest challenge would be the person he placed as Secretary, Hillary Clinton. There have only been six Secrataries of State who have gone on to become President. They are:
Thomas Jefferson James Madison James Monroe John Quincy Adams Martin Van Buren James Buchanan
That’s right. The last one was Buchanan, who served as President from 1857 to 1861.
Here is an internet ad that was created a few years back for a candidate running for Alabama Agriculture Commissioner. In Alabama, Ag Commissioner is an elected position. In most states, however, it is an appointed position. The appointment would be made by the Governor. Most states have an elected Lt. Governor, while a state like Tennessee does not have a Lt. Governor. Other states elect their Secretaries of State, State Comptrollers, or State Treasurers, while other states rely on the appointment power of the Governor to fill such positions. Outside the executive position of Governor, what other statewide positions do you believe should be filled by an election? Which ones should be filled by an appointment by the Governor?
On Tuesday, April 23, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) (pictured) announced that he was not running for re-election in 2014. He joins a long list of Senators who have announced that they will not be candidates for re-election in 2014. They are Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Tim Johnson(D-SD), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). Two other Senators, Jim DeMint (R-SC) and John Kerry (D-MA), resigned. Listed below are the months and years as to when each Senator first began his term.
Senator and Starting Month/Year
Baucus – December 1978
Levin – January 1979
Harkin – January 1985
Kerry – January 1985
Rockefeller – January 1985
Johnson – January 1997
Chambliss – January 2003
Lautenberg – January 2003 (current term); 1982-2001 (previous)
DeMint – January 2005
Johanns – January 2009
With the exception of Lautenberg, each of these Senators would have had a relatively easy re-election in 2014. Lautenberg would have faced a tough primary challenge in Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D). If Lautenberg survived that primary, he would have won in the general election, since New Jersey trends Democratic electorally. The question remains, “Why retire?” If the chances for re-election were quite high, then why move on?
In Kerry’s case, he was named Secretary of State. In DeMint’s case, he took a position at the conservative think tank known as the Heritage Foundation. Some of these Senators claim that the partisan rancor in Washington caused them to step down. Others have said that their age was a determining factor. Could it also be that some do not want to face their records come 2014? In Baucus’s case, speculation has arisen that the Senator does not want to defend his stance of Obamacare and that is his reason for stepping down. In any case, there’s a whole of turnover in the Senate going on. The question is, “Why?”