April 13, 2015

Horse 1875 - Streaky Politics

One of the really strange things about humans is that we are pattern seekers. We tend to see patterns in data sets, even if those pieces of data don't particularly lend themselves to having patterns found in them. We also tend to see faces in things and on things sun as the moon, or pieces of toast or even electric power outlets, even though there's not necessarily a particularly good reason for doing so.

Likewise (and this is one of my favourite facts), if you look through the lists of data for successful Republican presidents, that is Republican candidates who have gone on to become president, the last time that there wasn't a successful Republican candidate who became president who didn't have either a Bush or a Nixon on the ticket, was all the way back in 1928.

To wit:
1928: Hoover/Curtis.

1952: Eisenhower/Nixon
1956: Eisenhower/Nixon
1968: Nixon/Agnew
1972: Nixon/Agnew
1980: Reagan/Bush
1984: Reagan/Bush
1988: Bush/Quayle
2000: Bush/Cheney
2004: Bush/Cheney

From 2000-04, it was of course George W Bush who was President as opposed to his father George HW Bush but that list still remains.
There was also one other anomaly in there in that Gerald Ford was President with Nelson Rockefeller as Vice-President from 1974-77 but Agnew had resigned as Vice-President in 1973; which meant that Nixon had to appoint a replacement and then Nixon himself resigned in the light of a near certain impeachment following the Watergate scandal. Thus, Ford became the only man to have become president having never been voted in.

Potentially there is the possibility that this streak might continue as George W Bush's brother John Ellis "Jeb" Bush, has been  has been considered a potential candidate in the 2016 presidential election and George W Bush's son George P Bush might be ready to run in the 2020, 2024 or 2028 election. If that were to happen, then the streak might very well run out beyond a century.

Streaks like this exist in Russian politics as well. With the exception of Georgy Malenkov, who was  Premier of the Soviet Union from 1953-55, Russian leaders have alternated between bald and hairy, all the way back to the beginning of Tsar Nicholas the First's reign as Emperor of Russia in 1825:

Bald - Nicholas I
Hairy - Alexander II
Bald - Alexander III
Hairy - Nicholas II
Bald - Georgy Lvov
Hairy - Alexander Kerensky
Bald - Vladimir Lenin
Hairy - Joseph Stalin
Bald - Nikita Kruschev
Hairy - Leonid Brezhnev
Bald - Yuri Andropov
Hairy - Konstantin Chernenko
Bald - Mikhail Gorbachev
Hairy - Boris Yeltsin
Bald - Vladimir Putin
Hairy - Dimitry Medvedev
Bald - Vladimir Putin

Had I thought through this blog post better I might have had some salient or singular ending for it but I don't. Instead, all I have is an excuse to give you a creepy picture of Brezhnev's eyebrows:

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