A Historic Election

However it goes, either the first African American president or the first female vice-president ever will be elected a week from now. The first seating senator since JFK will also be elected president. There is no need to expand on the first point. The picture above, however twisted, does it enough justice. But the second point is no less worth considering. Despite Obama’s call for change and his relative newness on the national political stage, and despite McCain maverick persona, this is the first time in many years that a Washington insider from the upper chamber of the US Congress will become president. LBJ, an ex-Senate Majority Leader, followed Kennedy in the White House and was elected as an incumbent. Nixon was also an ex-senator when he was elected, but he had been in the Senate for just two years, from 1951 to 1953, sixteen years before he was sworn in as president. The next elected president was Jimmy Carter, an ex-governor of Georgia and the first of a series of self-described outsiders including Reagan, Clinton and Goerge W. Bush. The current president’s father, George W.H., was something of an exception, having been a House representative from 1967 to 1971, US ambassador to the UN from 1971 to 1973, CIA director in 1976-77, and vice-president for eight years. He was not reelected.


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