It’s certainly remarkable that the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee will certainly be either the first woman or the first African American to be in serious contention for the presidency. In fact, the polls say that whichever the nominee is, he or she will win over the Republican Party’s choice, so it’s very likely that we’ll soon — though not soon enough, by far — have a the first female or black president in the White House. Though let’s not get too complacent; the polls have been wrong before.
But there’s something else remarkable here, something that’s easy to overlook with all the rest that’s going on. We haven’t elected a sitting U.S. senator in 48 years, and not for 40 years before that... and we’re nearly certain to do so this year: all three of the likely winners are current senators.
The voting public seems to prefer executive experience, and we generally elect former vice presidents or governors. Look at the record for the last 100 or so years:
|2000||George W. Bush||Governor|
|1988||George H. W. Bush||Vice President|
|1980||Ronald Reagan||Former Governor|
|1968||Richard Nixon||Former VP|
|1960||John F. Kennedy||Senator|
|1952||Dwight Eisenhower||General of the Army|
|1948||Harry S Truman||President|
|1932||Franklin Delano Roosevelt||Governor|
|1928||Herbert Hoover||Secretary of Commerce|
|1924||Calvin Coolidge||Vice President|
|1920||Warren G. Harding||Senator|
Former Lieutenant Governor
|1908||William Howard Taft||Secretary of War|
former colonial Governor
Until now, John F. Kennedy was the only president we’ve elected with no prior executive experience since Benjamin Harrison in 1888.
I think that all three candidates are qualified for the job. And yet it has to be daunting: whoever is elected will inherit a country with serious problems, domestic and foreign, and has a difficult job ahead. Experience at something other than legislation — and no, I don’t count Mrs Clinton’s years with her husband in the White House as executive experience — would help.
 Since Gerald Ford wasn’t elected (not even as VP), I’m not counting him at all.
 Took over when his predecessor died in office.
 Eisenhower’s five-star General position certainly qualified as "executive", as did Hoover’s cabinet position.