Tuesday, August 4, 2015

PA's presidential possibilities

The next presidential cycle offers PA another chance to have a homegrown president.

PA's presidential possibilities


The Washington Post offers up a fun map showing where every U.S. president was born.

It may not surprise you to know that PA, the keystone of the colonies, the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, the home of the Liberty Bell, has had only one president.

And he, James Buchanan, (1857-1861), is best known for showing up on virtually every list of worst presidents. He advocated protecting slavery on the eve of the Civil War. He also had been a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature.

So that's our legacy in national leadeship.

Other state counts? Virginia 8, Ohio 7, New York 4, Massachusettes 4; even little Vermont had 2, as did Texas and North Carolina.

You can see a list of each president's birth-state here (scrowl down).

But 2016 presents at least the chance we can rise from the one-is-the-loneliest-number club.

Among possible presidential contenders are two native sons: Democrat Joe Biden (born in Scranton) and Republican Rand Paul (born in Pittsburgh). There's also one long-shot, New Gingrich (born in Harrisburg).

But if you're thinking Rick Santorum, don't. He was born in Virginia.

Oh, and Pennsylvanians who had runs at the White House (however brief and/or misguided) were not born here: Gov. William Scranton (Conn.), Gov. Milton Shapp (Ohio), Gov. Bob Casey (New York), Sen. Arlen Specter (Kansas) and the aforementioned Santorum.

New Jersey, by the way, shares our oneness. It produced only Grover Cleveland (1885-1889 and 1893-1897). But maybe it can, ahem, bridge the gap to two -- if Chris Christie gets, you know, out of his current jam.



Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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