In the run up to the US presidential race I thought it might be interesting to look at what awaits the loser, if only because there is always a loser.
There are 9 people still alive who have fought hard and lost the longest job interview of all time (unless you count my sister who is currenlty undergoing the most excrutiatingly long job interview of all time!).
George McGovern was the Democratic candidate in the 1972 election. America was divided over the never ending saga in Vietnam. He fought hard and won millions of young voters with his notion of peace and hope and change. His campaign was wildly successful until it was revealed that his Vice Presidential running mate, Thomas Eagleton, had been treated for depression in the 1960s. At first McGovern stood behind Eagleton but then accepted his resignation and took on Sargent Shriver as his running mate. It was a PR disaster. McGovern looked flaky and disloyal not to mention indecisive. Not good for a future president. He never recovered.
A few of the candidates lost as incumbents: Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush (Sr) and are still hanging around.
Jimmy Carter was generally regarded as one of the worst presidents of all time when inflation and interest rates caused a short recession during his presidency despite unprecedented employment levels and a massive decrease in the national deficit. To make matters worse the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian hostage crisis happened on his watch. Reelection would have been a tough sell. Jimmy Carter is still active in politics (more so than some think he should be) but his biggest post presidential contribution, in my humble opinion, would have to be his involvement in Habitat for Humanity which helps families build their own homes. He won the Nobel Peace in 2002. He's the second oldest living president.
And we all know what George Senior is up to......
One candidate, Ralph Nadar is a candidate in this year's race (again) although why remains a mystery to me. His participation in the 2000 race probably lost the election for Al Gore. I sure wish he wouldn't do that!
Walter Mondale was Vice President for Jimmy Carter and failed in his bid for the presidency. His post presidential career included a stint as US Ambassador to Japan during the Clinton Administration. Other than that he maintains a low profile (read off the radar).
Do you ever ask yourself what ever happened to Mike Dukakis? I mean I love his cousin Olympia. She's a great actress but Mike slipped into obscurity much the way his Massachusetts miracle slipped from the fingers of the citizens of MA. He splits his time teaching political science at universities in California and Massachusetts. Not sure he's got much to say other than to serve as an example of what not to do.
Bob Dole is 85 and maintains a staff for his very own web page. You can read all about his latest activity on his web page. Forewarned is forearmed: it is pretty dull.
Al Gore has been very busy banging on about all this global climate change stuff after he lost his bid for the presidency (and we all know he didn't really lose, if only Florida would learn to count). He even won the Nobel Prize!
So far John Kerry hasn't done much but it is early days.
And what do you think McCain will be up to next year at this time?