Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano noted at the top of her speech that three previous presidential candidates from her home state – Barry Goldwater, Morris Udall, and Bruce Babbitt – were all unsuccessful in their efforts.
“Speaking for myself, and at least for this coming election, this is one Arizona tradition I’d like to see continue,” she said.
Not a bad line. Of course, the track record for presidential candidates from Barack Obama’s Illinois isn’t much better than for those from John McCain’s Arizona:
* Adlai Stevenson twice served as the Democratic presidential nominee, suffering lopsided defeats to Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 (442-89 in the Electoral College) and 1956 (by a 457-73 spread).
* U.S. Representative Phil Crane sought the 1980 Republican nomination, but dropped out after finishing with just 1.8 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary.
* U.S. Representative John B. Anderson also sought the G.O.P. nomination in 1980 – and also failed. The moderate-to-liberal Anderson then bolted the party and ran as an independent, finishing with 5.7 million votes, or about 7 percent.
* Senator Paul Simon ran for the Democratic nomination in 1988. He finished in second place in Iowa and third place in New Hampshire and ended his campaign shortly after scoring a symbolic victory in his home state.
* Carol Moseley Braun waged a quixotic bid for the 2004 Democratic nomination, but her bid to become the first woman president failed to take off and she dropped out prior to the Iowa caucuses.
So that’s two more presidential losers from Illinois than from Arizona. Of course, there was this guy named Lincoln…