Here are some readers' questions about running mates:
Q: Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut has been mentioned as a possible running mate for John McCain. Has anyone ever been the vice presidential candidate for two different presidential candidates? And has there ever been a "mixed ticket" — a prez and VP nominee from different parties? - William Earley, Greer, S.C.
A: There are five instances of major-party vice presidential nominees running with different presidential candidates:
1904: Theodore Roosevelt P, Charles Fairbanks VP (won)
1916: Charles Evans Hughes P, Charles Fairbanks VP (lost)
1892: Grover Cleveland P, Adlai E. Stevenson VP (won)
1900: William J. Bryan P, Adlai E. Stevenson VP (lost)
1876: Samuel J. Tilden P, Thomas A. Hendricks VP (lost)
1884: Grover Cleveland P, Thomas A. Hendricks VP (won)
1824: John Quincy Adams P, John C. Calhoun VP (won)
1828: Andrew Jackson P, John C. Calhoun VP (won)
1804: Thomas Jefferson P, George Clinton VP (won)
1808: James Madison P, George Clinton VP (won)
As for the second part of your question, when President Abraham Lincoln (R) sought re-election in 1864, he chose Andrew Johnson, a former Democratic governor of Tennessee, as his running mate.
Q: It seems to me that Mitt Romney is doing everything he can to get McCain to pick him as his running mate. Do you agree? - Matthew Olson, Pittsburgh, Pa.
A: This will not surprise anyone, but John McCain and Mitt Romney are not the best of buds. Their mutual dislike during the primary season was palpable. But Romney has made it clear that this wasn't going to be his last bid for the White House. He has access to something McCain does not: money. Romney still got good reviews for his campaigning ability. And in the unlikely event that the Democrats' botching of Michigan becomes a big deal in the fall, who better to take advantage of it than someone with the name of Romney? Now, the thought of two rivals for the nomination teaming up on a ticket is not something new or unusual. But they were more than rivals. And McCain seems to be the kind of guy who doesn't forget a slight. I'm guessing it won't happen.
Q: Am I right that until 2000, when Wyoming's Dick Cheney selected himself as Bush's running mate, no candidate for president or vice president had come from a state with only three electoral votes? The only exception I could find would be Joseph Lane of Oregon in 1860, who was the VP candidate with John Breckinridge for the Southern half of the Democratic Party, and when Oregon only had three electoral votes. - Dewie Gaul, Sioux City, Iowa
A: If we're talking only about the two major parties, you are correct. When George McGovern was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972, South Dakota had four electoral votes; it now has three. Had Delaware's Joe Biden won the nomination this year, he would have joined that select group.
Q: Condoleeza Rice has been mentioned as a potential running mate for John McCain. Who was the last sitting Cabinet member chosen as a presidential or VP nominee? If Rice were to be nominated, would she have to step down as secretary of state? - Peter Moo, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
A: Rice has said she has no interest in running for office, and in fact is expected to go back to Stanford University once the Bush administration comes to a close. But if for some reason the situation changed and she was named to the ticket, she would leave the Cabinet to run for a partisan office.
There has not been a member of the Cabinet who became a presidential nominee since 1928, when Herbert Hoover (R) — who had been secretary of commerce under Presidents Harding and Coolidge — was nominated. Eight other presidents served at one time in the Cabinet: Thomas Jefferson (secretary of state under Washington), James Madison (sec/state under Jefferson), James Monroe (sec/state under Madison, sec/war under Madison), John Quincy Adams (sec/state under Monroe), Martin Van Buren (sec/state under Jackson), James Buchanan (sec/state under Polk and Taylor), Ulysses Grant (sec/war under Andrew Johnson), and William Howard Taft (sec/war under Teddy Roosevelt).
In recent history, Dick Cheney and Jack Kemp, both Republicans, were former Cabinet members when they were named as running mates to George W. Bush (2000) and Bob Dole (1996), respectively. Lloyd Bentsen, the Democrats' 1988 VP nominee, later served as treasury secretary. Henry Wallace, President Truman's commerce secretary, quit the Cabinet and later challenged Truman as a third-party presidential candidate in 1948.
Wallace, in fact, was the last sitting Cabinet member named to the ticket. He was FDR's secretary of agriculture when tapped to be Roosevelt's running mate in 1940 after two-term Vice President John Nance Garner broke with the president.
OPEN HOUSE SEATS: One more addition to the list of House members who won't be returning for the 111th Congress: Thomas Reynolds, a Republican from New York's 26th Congressional District, who announced his retirement last week. He is the 26th Republican to call it quits (not including those Republicans who already quit), compared to seven Democrats.
POLITICAL MISCELLANY: Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) declares his candidacy for another term. Lautenberg, who is 84, was first elected 26 years ago, in part, by going after his GOP opponent, then-Rep. Millicent Fenwick, on her age; at the time, Fenwick was 72. Despite his age, the Republicans seem unable to put up (or even find) a serious candidate. But Rep. Rob Andrews (D) has not ruled out a primary challenge ... While there had been whispers that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) would face a formidable challenge in the GOP primary or the general election, or both, the filing deadline has come and gone and he looks safe for a second term. ... Mike Gravel, who shall we say did not make a big impact in the Democratic race for president, has bolted to the Libertarian Party, where he will continue his quest for the White House. ... David Paterson, the new governor of New York, has not confessed to any new sins in the past few days.
ON THE CALENDAR:
April 5 - Primary runoffs in Louisiana's 1st Congressional District (to succeed now-Gov. Bobby Jindal) and 6th CD (to replace Republican Richard Baker, who resigned).
April 8 - Special primary election in California's 12th CD to succeed the late Tom Lantos (D).
April 16 - Democratic presidential candidate debate, Philadelphia (ABC).
April 19 - Democratic presidential candidate debate, North Carolina (CBS).
April 22 - Pennsylvania primaries.
IF IT'S WEDNESDAY, IT'S "JUNKIE" TIME ON TOTN: Don't forget to listen to the "Political Junkie" segment every Wednesday on Talk of the Nation, NPR's live call-in program, starting at 2 p.m. ET. Yes, it's true, I was spring-breaking last week on some Florida beach, and I missed last Wednesday's show ("Please never go on vacation again," pleaded Red Sox fan-but-otherwise-nice-person Bridget Madden of West Roxbury, Mass.). That brings the total number of e-mails from people who missed me while I was on vacation to ... one. Anyway, I've learned my lesson. This week: more superdelegate updates, whither a credentials fight, John McCain's national tour, Sen. Frank Lautenberg runs again at the age of 84, and wondering about a ticket that includes both Obama and Clinton. Remember, if your local NPR station doesn't carry TOTN, you can hear the program on the Web. And if you are a subscriber to Sirius radio, you can find the show there as well.
IT'S ALL POLITICS: That's the name of our weekly political podcast. It's a combination of brilliant analysis and sophisticated humor, hosted each week by NPR's Ron Elving and me. It goes up on the Web site every Thursday and can be heard here. And yes, I missed last week's podcast as well (and was substituted by the always-excellent Robert Smith).
The week before, it was Ron's turn to be out on vacation, and he was replaced by Evie Stone, our persnickety elections producer extraordinaire who was making her broadcast debut. Evie is always the one who sits with Ron and me before each podcast going over the highlights of the week, so who better to have on the show? Apparently, Carl Malmstrom of Chicago agreed: "I just finished listening to this week's 'It's All Politics,' and I think that Evie Stone is fantastic. Her sense of humor and her perspective (not to mention her knowledge of politics) make her a perfect fit for the podcast. While you and Mr. Elving have a great thing going, and I eagerly await each week's new podcast, I hope to hear Ms. Stone again, either as a regular replacement for one of you, or even as a third member of the IAP on-air team."
Want to subscribe to the podcast? It's easy, and it's free! Go to the iTunes Web site, type in "It's All Politics," and voila. You'll be hooked!
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This day in campaign history: Two days after he shocked the nation by announcing he will not seek another term, President Lyndon Johnson is trounced in the Wisconsin Democratic primary, 57-35 percent, by Sen. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota. Sen. Robert Kennedy (D-NY), a recently announced presidential candidate, urged his supporters to vote for McCarthy. Former Vice President Richard Nixon is the landslide winner on the Republican side, waltzing past an unauthorized effort by supporters of California Gov. Ronald Reagan and the perennial candidacy of Harold Stassen (April 2, 1968).
Got a question? Ask Ken Rudin: firstname.lastname@example.org