(CNN) – CNN’s State of the Union Host Candy Crowley aptly put it at the top of her show Sunday: Four of the last six presidents were governors.
Governors descended upon Washington this week for the annual National Governors Association meeting. They also filled the hot seats on the Sunday talk shows.
Guess what. Some actually answered the question.
But Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana was not one them.
“I haven't spent one second thinking about any job other than the one I was hired to do,” he said on “State of the Union.”
Neither was Gov. Jay Nixon, D-Missouri: “We really do have a lot to get done in the next three years in the Show-Me State.” (Boring).
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley was slightly more straightforward. He’s “looking at that.”
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “I don’t know.”
Some more candor came from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who in one word said he’s not ruling out a 2016 bid. (He’s headed to Iowa next week.)
And Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy of Connecticut was quite honest: “I am not going to be a candidate for president.”
Scandal, part 1: Noticeably absent from the Sunday circuit was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, this year’s head of the Republican Governors Association and potential 2016 presidential candidate. In case you forgot, he’s been under fire for extreme traffic jams on the busy George Washington Bridge for apparent political retribution.
Scandal, part 2: Another governor under fire, however, did appear on a Sunday program. Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin chose friendly territory but was aggressively questioned on “Fox News Sunday” about newly released documents that reveal illegal activity. When Walker was running for governor in 2010, he ordered his staff as then-Milwaukee County Executive to hold a daily conference call with his political campaign, which is illegal in Wisconsin.
On “Fox News Sunday,” Walker blamed the Democratic party for churning up “old news” for political gain.
Agree to agree when not disagreeing: On “State of the Union” the two Democratic and two Republican governors also talked a little bit about policy, including gun rights, the death penalty and pot – issues on which they mostly disagreed.
But they all agreed that states’ rights are a great thing – a “high” component “of the American experiment,” Pence said.
They also will have a unified message – in part – during their meeting with President Obama Monday, insisting that National Guard strength not be cut.
“There is a common agreement amongst all 50 governors that we shouldn't go back to pre- 9/11 standards,” Walker said.
Benghazi answers: It was a big day for Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice. It was the first time since her ill-fated remarks just days after the attack on the Benghazi that she appeared on a Sunday political talk show.
Multiple networks asked. But NBC’s “Meet the Press” nabbed her.
Rice said she doesn’t regret anything about her September 2012 appearances when she said the attacks that killed four Americans were the result of an unruly “spontaneous” protest.
“That information turned out…not to be 100% correct,” she said, but that neither she nor the Obama administration intentionally mislead Americans two months before the 2012 election.
On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Republican Sen. John McCain didn’t really respond to Rice’s self-defense, but said her original comments are “embarrassing.”
Obama on defense regarding Ukraine: In fact, McCain didn’t have a lot of good things to say about Rice or Obama when it comes to American foreign policy, reaffirming an earlier statement that the President is “naïve.”
As Ukraine is in the middle of an internal struggle with heavy influence from Russia’s Vladimir Putin, McCain said: “The president said that this had nothing to do with the Cold War, the issue, the situation in Ukraine. In the eyes of Vladimir Putin, it does. He wants to restore the Russian empire.”
Rice responded: “He may. But if he does, that is a pretty dated.”
She said President Obama told Putin that the United States and Russia have “a shared interest” that Ukraine remain a unified country and not devolve into violence, and that Putin agreed.
Rice went on to say that the U.S. needs to “very pragmatic” when dealing with Russia.
While ticking off areas of agreement and disagreement, she said “both sides of the ledger” must be looked at when it comes to Putin.
Rice cautioned, however, that it would be “a grave mistake” if Putin inserts his military power into Ukraine.
Even one of Obama’s closest confidantes sounded more skeptical.
On “Fox News Sunday,” Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin said, “Let's remember that each president tries to find a positive track, but let not forget that Vladimir Putin wasn't just a member of the KGB, he was the head of the secret police, the Soviet KGB. This is a man that we should take very seriously.”
Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said the President needs to “up his game and send a clear unequivocal public message to Putin.”
Ukraine: Agreement: While Obama is criticized for how he deals with Putin, the ideas discussed to help the Ukrainian people are similar to those of his critics.
On Ukraine, Rice said “the U.S. will play a role,” including working with the International Monetary Fund to help Ukraine, which is on the verge of economic collapse, to help the country stave off economic dangling carrots from Russia.
Senators Durbin, McCain and New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte agree.
But Rice insisted the U.S. will not put boots on the ground there.
As for Syria, another internal conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, Rice said the U.S. is “constantly reviewing our options” and that the U.S. is the “largest supplier” of humanitarian assistance.
“Until there’s a political resolution, this thing is not going to be resolved,” Rice said.
But it all comes back to Putin. Sen. Ayotte said Putin is winning in Syria. “Putin can play a role of putting pressure on Assad. They are not putting enough pressure on Assad,” she said, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Scandal, part 3: While scandal is plaguing two governors, a fictitious scandal surfaced on “State of the Union.” Actor Joe Morton, who plays Rowan Pope on the ABC drama "Scandal,” was interviewed, where he encouraged Hollywood to show more diversity among topics in films depicting African-Americans in Hollywood.
Hollywood productions “are either a film about slavery or they're a film about integration. So from a commercial standpoint all we are getting is the same story we've seen over and over and over and over again. I mean it's ‘Roots’ but, you know, ‘Twelve Years A Slave’ is ‘Roots’ but it's a much better ‘Roots.’ ’42 (The Jackie Robinson Story)’ is about integration but it's still about baseball somehow. But it's still about that struggle,” he said.