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When Did Two Former Speakers of the House Run Against Each Other For President?

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | January 23, 2012

No. 792

 In 1844, James K. Polk and Henry Clay, two former Speakers of the House of Representatives, ran against each other for President.  Since Polk, there has never been another former Speaker elected to the Presidency.

Clay ran for the Presidency in the general election twice and lost two other times in  nominating conventions.  He was the the leader of three successive political parties. He served three times as Speaker as a Democratic-Republican, but was nominee of the National Republican Party against Andrew Jackson in 1832 and as a Whig against Polk. The next and last Speaker to run in the general election for President was James G. Blaine, who lost to Grover Cleveland.

Gerald Ford, who was never elected President, was never the Speaker of the House.  He was the Minority Leader before being nominated to fill the vacancy in the Vice Presidency in the second Nixon Administration.

John Nance Garner, who became Speaker in 1931, was later elected Vice President with FDR.

Whether another former Speaker will run in the 2012 general election remains to be seen.






CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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