Just a little trivia

If the Democratic candidate for President is either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, they will still need to break the curse of the Senate: sitting United States Senators have only won the presidency twice – John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Warren Harding in 1920. And if John McCain wins the Republican nomination, it will become the first presidential contest between two Senators in American history.

The curse, i.e. the preference for Governors as presidential candidates, was among the reasons Jon Corzine left the U.S. Senate to run for Governor in 2005. In those days – just three years ago – it is no secret that Corzine had presidential aspirations. But friends of the Governor say any thoughts of running for national office are pretty much gone.

Neither of New Jersey's Senators are thought to harbor presidential ambitions. Frank Lautenberg is 84, more than a dozen years older than any legitimate presidential candidate; even when he was younger, he never made any White House short lists. And even his close friends don't view Bob Menendez as a future White House contender — even though Democratic fundraiser John Graham wants him to be he Vice Presidential nominee. But Menendez could, his friends say, emerge as a candidate for a top Senate leadership position.

The last serious presidential candidates from New Jersey were Bill Bradley, the Democratic U.S. Senator from 1979 to 1997, who ran for President in 2000; and Steve Forbes, the mega millionaire magazine publisher who sought the GOP nomination in1996 and 2000. There was talk after Governor Tom Kean’s 70% re-election victory in 1985 that he might run for President in 1988; indeed, Kean went to New Hampshire to deliver a keynote address at a GOP Lincoln Day Dinner in February 1986. But Kean never really had the taste for a national campaign, and talk of his potential candidacy subsided quickly.

For a brief time, Governor Robert Meyner was considered a very real candidate for the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination, but he never got in the race and was quickly eclipsed by Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey as the candidates of the younger reformers.

Just a little trivia