Where the Democrats' Gubernatorial Talent Went

I wrote a post last week arguing that the Democrats currently have far fewer governors who look like future presidential candidates than the Republicans. Commenter ...
by | June 30, 2009

I wrote a post last week arguing that the Democrats currently have far fewer governors who look like future presidential candidates than the Republicans. Commenter David C. Eisen made a good point in response:

Also don't forget that two top Dem Govs are now part of Obama's cabinet (Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas). They would have likely been in the top 5.

In addition to Napolitano and Sebelius, Tom Vilsack is another former governor in President Obama's cabinet who seems to have national ambitions. Sen. Mark Warner, a former Virginia governor, would be a top candidate. Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana is also a former governor who is always mentioned, although I've come to the conclusion that he is the Richard Blumenthal of presidential candidates.

For their part, Republicans seem fairly likely to nominate a former governor in 2012 -- with Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee leading the list.

Another commenter, Sam, argues that the Democrats have a deeper bench in the U.S. Senate:

Another problem with the analysis that points to how few Democratic governors look like serious presidential contenders is the fact that Democrats have some real potential presidential candidates in the Senate and House. In the Senate Sherrod Brown, Russ Feingold, Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner, Evan Bayh, Claire McCaskill, Jim Webb, Jon Tester, and Tom Udall could each make runs for the presidency. Representatives Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin and Diana DeGette also possess presidential candidate material.

Contrast this to the Republican bench in the Senate. Most of the GOP's rising stars are in the South. John Ensign and David Vitter have disqualified themselves. Only John Thune could make a credible run for president.

Without a doubt, in 2016 the Democrats won't have a scarcity of presidential candidates.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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