Friday, November 02, 2007

Nit-picking nit-pickery

Yuval Levin is nit-picking Bill Richardson's claim that "we elect governors as president. Seven out of the last eight have been either governors or ex-governors." According to Levin
This is a terribly minor nit-pick…but what’s blogging for? So for the record, the last eight men elected president were:

George W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George H.W. Bush
Ronald Reagan
Jimmy Carter
Gerald Ford
Richard Nixon
Lyndon Johnson

Four of them had served as governors, and four had not. So why not just say “four of the last five” instead?

Richardson talks a lot about his state’s great emphasis on education. Let’s hope New Mexico students aren’t getting their American history education from their governor.

Given that nit-picking is apparently what blogging is for, let's address the nit-pick.

1) Gerald Ford was never elected President. He wasn't elected Vice-President.

2) Richardson can defend the claim. Seven of the last presidential elections have indeed resulted in the election of governors or ex-governors.
George W. Bush
George W. Bush
Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton

George H.W. Bush
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Jimmy Carter

I don't know how Richardson has said it, and I suspect that, at least on occasion, he's said something like "seven of the last eight men elected President" which is wrong. But in seven of the last eight Presidential elections, we have elected men who were either governors or ex-governors.

I'm not a Richardson fan, my main feeling about him being that he may be less loathsome than much of the rest of the Democratic field, but that doesn't strike me as a comment that's particularly egregious...

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