The Spectacle Blog

Kevin McCarthy: Lincoln Should Not Have Been President

By on 11.15.13 | 1:52PM


This is interesting.

House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy has put himself on record as follows:

"I'm a firm believer that I don't think anyone should become president if they haven’t been a governor first," McCarthy told Chuck Todd on "The Daily Rundown."

The statement was played as a swipe at Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, plus McCarthy’s House colleague Congressman Paul Ryan.

Not mentioned by McCarthy is another name, which makes the McCarthy statement all the more stunning.

That name would be Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president, first Republican president, frequently rated as America’s greatest president for saving the Union and ending slavery. Lincoln’s only experience in public office consisted of a few terms as a member of the Illinois legislature and one term in the House of Representatives. Lincoln lost two Senate races – 1854 and 1858 – the latter most famously against Democrat Stephen A. Douglas.

Also not mentioned is Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose only elective office was president, winning in 1952 and 1956. Ike was, of course, a career soldier. Richard Nixon was famously a losing candidate for governor of California, serving only as congressman, senator, and vice president. George H.W. Bush was a congressman and vice president, never a governor.

On the Democratic side, popular President John F. Kennedy was only a congressman and senator, Harry Truman a county judge (aka county commissioner) and senator, Lyndon Johnson a congressman and senator. Former president Jimmy Carter, generally considered one of the worst presidents in modern history, was governor of Georgia.

One has to wonder what in the world McCarthy was thinking? No Abe? No Ike? No George Washington or James Madison?

Yes for Governor Carter over congressman/vice president Gerald Ford? Governor Michael Dukakis over congressman/vice president Bush?


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