The Dumping of the President -- and the VP Fifteen presidents have lost their bid for re-election; less frequent is the number of times vice presidents have been dumped from a re-election ticket.

The Dumping of the President — and the VP

Had FDR not dumped Henry Wallace in 1944, there never would have been a President Truman. hide caption

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His slogan: "If elected, I will win." hide caption

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The first woman to lead a party in Congress. From Ken Rudin's Collection hide caption

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From Ken Rudin's Collection

Q: How many sitting presidents have been voted out of office? And how often has a sitting president dropped his VP before a run for a second term? -- John Comings, Newton, Mass.

A: Fifteen presidents were defeated in their bids for another term: John Adams (1800), John Quincy Adams (1828), Martin Van Buren (1840), John Tyler (1844), Millard Fillmore (1852), Franklin Pierce (1856), Andrew Johnson (1868), Chester A. Arthur (1884), Grover Cleveland (1888), Benjamin Harrison (1892), William H. Taft (1912), Herbert Hoover (1932), Gerald Ford (1976), Jimmy Carter (1980), and George H.W. Bush (1992). Of those, Tyler, Fillmore, Pierce, Johnson, and Arthur were denied their party's nomination.

Less frequent is the occasion of a president switching running mates. In 1864, Abraham Lincoln saw nothing to be gained by running again with Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, and so the Republican convention that year decided instead upon Andrew Johnson, a Democrat. Schuyler Colfax, vice president under Ulysses Grant, was implicated in a scandal and was replaced at the 1872 GOP convention by Sen. Henry Hendricks of Indiana as his running mate. After Hendricks died in 1885, Cleveland ran for re-election in 1888 with 75-year-old former Sen. Allen Thurman of Ohio. They lost to Republicans Benjamin Harrison and Levi Morton. Four years later, Morton was replaced on the GOP ticket at the convention by Whitelaw Reid, the former editor of the New York Herald Tribune. (For his part, Cleveland came back in 1892 with still another running mate, Adlai E. Stevenson -- father of the 1952 and '56 Democratic presidential nominee.)

President William McKinley's number two, Garret Hobart, died in 1899, and in 1900 the Republican convention named New York Gov. Theodore Roosevelt in his stead. William Howard Taft was elected in 1908 along with James Sherman. Just days before the election in 1912, Sherman died and was replaced on the ticket by Nicholas Butler.

At the 1940 Democratic convention, Vice President John Nance Garner challenged President Franklin D. Roosevelt's bid for a third term; FDR, in turn, named his secretary of agriculture, Henry Wallace, as his new running mate. Roosevelt's role in the dumping of Wallace at the 1944 convention is still murky, but it seems clear that he was not especially keen on running again with Wallace, who was seen as too liberal for many in the party and outwardly hostile to Southern conservatives. Though Wallace fought for his job, he was replaced at the convention by Missouri Sen. Harry Truman. Less than a year later, FDR was dead.

A most unusual situation occurred in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal. In 1972, Republicans Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew were re-elected. A year later, Agnew -- involved in a scandal of his own -- resigned the vice presidency, and Nixon, utilizing the 25th Amendment for the first time, named Gerald Ford as his new VP. Within months, as his role in Watergate led to calls for his impeachment, Nixon also resigned, elevating Ford to the presidency. Ford then named Nelson Rockefeller as his vice president; it was the first time the nation had an unelected president and vice president. But under pressure from conservatives, who never forgave Rocky for his feud with Barry Goldwater in 1964, Ford announced he would not run with Rockefeller on the ticket. Instead, Ford named Kansas Sen. Bob Dole as his running mate for the 1976 election.

Q: How did Sen. Barry Goldwater vote on the Voting Rights Act of 1965? -- Christian Savage, New York, N.Y.

A: Goldwater, the Arizona Republican, was not a member of the Senate on May 26, 1965, when it voted 77-19 to pass the Voting Rights Act, which ended the use of literacy tests in registering voters. Goldwater's Senate term was up in 1964, the same year he was his party's presidential nominee, and he chose not to run for re-election (though he could have). In that vote, only two Republicans -- John Tower of Texas and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina -- opposed the measure, along with 17 "no" votes of Southern Democrats: the two senators from Alabama (Hill and Sparkman), Arkansas (Fulbright and McClellan), Florida (Holland and Smathers), Georgia (Dick Russell and Talmadge), Louisiana (Ellender and Long), Mississippi (Eastland and Stennis), North Carolina (Ervin and Jordan), Virginia (Byrd and Robertson), plus Donald Russell of South Carolina. Goldwater returned to the Senate in the 1968 elections, and remained there until he retired in 1986. He died on May 29, 1998.

Q: How many write-in votes did Pat Paulsen receive in the 1968 presidential election? -- Maureen Muldaur, Santa Monica, Calif.

A: Pat Paulsen was a political comedian who starred on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" on CBS in 1967. On one particular program, Tommy and Dick Smothers suggested to Paulsen that he run for president in 1968, which the deadpan comic agreed to, especially since "the job came with a good pension plan." A continuing highlight of the show was Paulsen's so-called campaign speeches, which employed a combination of double talk, lies and nonsense. While there is no question that his comments placed him on the left-wing of the political spectrum, his platform included calling for strict punishments for improper grammar. At the 1968 Democratic convention, he pledged, "If elected, I will win." The Smothers Brothers show, politically controversial at the time, was yanked off the air in 1969.

But I have not come across anything that indicates if there were write-in votes on his behalf in the '68 election. However, he really did run in 1972 -- as a Republican, no less -- and entered the New Hampshire primary, where he received 1,211 votes against President Nixon. He got even more votes -- though less publicity -- when he ran again in 1992, finishing the primary season with nearly 11,000 votes nationwide. He also ran as a Democrat in '96 and received more than 1,000 votes against President Clinton in New Hampshire. He died on April 24, 1997 at the age of 69.

Q: Are Disney's Michael Eisner and David Eisner, the Bush-appointed new CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, related? -- Zach Rhein, Topeka, Kan.

A: No relation. David Eisner, a former executive at AOL Time Warner, is considered an expert on community and faith-based service organizations. In an earlier life, he was a senior VP at Fleishman-Hilliard in Washington, D.C. and prior to that was press secretary for three Republican House members: Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), Bill McCollum (Fla.) and Mac Sweeney (Texas). A far cry from Huey, Dewey and Louie.

This Day in Campaign History: Nancy Pelosi, the former chair of the California Democratic Party, finishes first in a special congressional election to succeed the late Rep. Sala Burton (D-Calif. 05), the only time in her House career she faces a difficult electoral challenge (April 7, 1987).