The third Republican candidate for president has dropped out of the 2016 race.
Bobby Jindal of Louisiana joins Rick Perry of next-door Texas and Scott Walker of Wisconsin as GOP hopefuls who didn’t make the grade with an increasingly angry primary voter base.
What do these men have in common? They’re all either active governors or former governors. Which prompts the question: Whatever happened the notion that governors bring more “executive experience” to these campaigns than, say, senators or members of the House of Representatives?
A wise man — I can’t remember who — said that governors usually are better positioned than legislators to take the reins of government.
As RealClearPolitics reported: “Experience and expertise seems to be a non-factor this year, which is kind of mind-boggling,” Jindal supporter and Iowa GOP activist Shane Vander Hart told RCP.
Indeed, one can look back into recent political history to see how voters have responded to presidential candidates with gubernatorial experience: Democrat Jimmy Carter of Georgia, elected in 1976; Republican Ronald Reagan of California, elected in 1980 and re-elected in 1984; Democrat Bill Clinton of Arkansas, elected in 1992 and re-elected in 1996; and Republican George W. Bush of Texas, elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2004.
Gov. Perry made the case when he announced his candidacy that governors are better prepared for the presidency than legislators. I wrote about it in my blog. See it here.
This year? Republican primary voters are going for a real estate mogul/reality TV star and a retired brain surgeon. Governors and former governors? They’re being ignored, tossed aside and relegated to virtual asterisks.
Democratic voters have one remaining former governor in the race: Martin O’Malley of Maryland. And of the three Democrats running for the White House, he’s polling a distant third behind a former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state, and a sitting U.S. senator.
Governors used to be the main men and women in these contests. They would tout their experience actually running state governments and how that experience prepared them for the Big Job.
Not any longer.
You want a measure of just how weird the upcoming presidential campaign is going to get? Take a look at what’s happening to those candidates with “executive experience.”