2012 field making history already
May 27th, 2011
04:06 PM ET
4 years ago

2012 field making history already

(CNN) – For the first time since 1900, no sitting U.S. senator on either side of the aisle is running or considering a run for president, at least yet.

The last time the Republican party did not have a sitting senator running an active campaign for the White House was in 1944 when the active Republican candidates included Gov. Tom Dewey, Gov. John Bricker, utility executive Wendell Willkie, former Governor Harold Stassen, Gov. Earl Warren and several others, none of whom were sitting senators.

But on the Democratic side that year, although Virginia Sen. Harry F. Byrd did not run against Franklin Roosevelt in the primaries, his name was placed in nomination at the Democratic convention as a protest against Roosevelt's bid for an unprecedented fourth term as well as New Deal policies that were unpopular in many southern states.

To find a year when no sitting Senators were active presidential candidates in either major party, you have to go all the way back to 1900, when Republican President William McKinley and his Democratic rival William Jennings Bryan were both essentially unopposed for their parties' nominations.

In 2011, the country faces another such cycle with a potential field of two current members of the U.S. House, one former member (who also served as Speaker), six former governors, one former mayor, one former senator – and no current members of the U.S. Senate.

In November of 2012, the winner of the GOP primary will face President Obama who, in 2008, became the first sitting senator to win the presidency since Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960.


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Bill

    It is also making history for largest field of incompetant, buffoonish, and unelectable candidates ever assembled.

    May 27, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    The GOP senators will be too busy explaining why they voted to kill Medicare and replace it with a voucher that would not be a decent downpayment on a new car. They will explain it by screaming about the " lack" of a Democratic plan: this is their top priority, not running for President. They are too scared to run on their records.

    May 27, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. John

    They all ready have enough Clown for the CIRCUS now. The Republican,Tea Party Is becoming a joke.

    May 27, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. FM

    Making history is still to come, when no one will emerge as their candidate!

    May 27, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Dr. Zeuss

    History being made indeed. The Teapublicans have resurrected once-thought-extinct dodo birds in the form of Palin and Bachmann.

    May 27, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Jess Sayin

    The handwriting is on the wall for serious GOP candidates. In spite of the billions of dollars their corporate puppeteers have spent to smear Obama at every step of his presidency, his successes are too great to convince voters they have anyone better. Their chances in 2012 are pretty slim. That's why only the true egomaniacs are announcing their candidacies. Go Bachmann, Palin, Perry, Gingrich!

    May 27, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    No "sitting Senator" but a whole bunch of sitting nuts.

    May 27, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. ThsIsNotReal

    @Jess Sayin His successes are too great??? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! All he did was continue the Bush foreign policies and pass an unconstitutional healthcare mandate. Oh yeah, and killed Bin Laden ;-) Obama's one noteworthy success was getting our troops out of Iraq, I give him props for that, but one good deed is hardly a list.

    May 27, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. California Conservative

    Just as everyone last time voted AGAINST Bush/republicans they'll do the same against Obama.

    A vote for Obama is a vote for Biden. With Biden who needs Wikileaks.

    May 27, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |