Locals Don’t Jump

Wow, post a list of small towns in North Carolina and watch your hit count rise. Who knew blogging was that simple?

Seriously, the fascination with Sarah Palin’s background as a small-town politico is immense. That’s because it’s unusual.

The last president with any background in city or county office was Harry Truman, who served as the then-equivalent of a county commissioner in the Kansas City area from the mid-1920s to the start of the FDR administration. Since then, we’ve had five presidents (Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and G.H.W. Bush) get their start in the U.S. House. Two (Reagan and G.W. Bush) started as governors. One (Carter) began as a state senator. One (Clinton) started as a state attorney general. And one (Eisenhower) never served in elective office before taking up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. but gained significant experience in what we might term appointive office.

Seen in that light, Obama’s is a slightly more typical would-be path to the White House. 

That said, I agree with the commenter who said Obama’s not running against Palin.


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