Job Opportunity

What political office is the best stepping stone to the Presidency?

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  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about the data?

  3. Which branch of government - executive, legislative, or judicial - is most likely to lead to the presidency?

  4. Why do you think that is?

  5. Of the offices listed in the chart above, which ones have been occupied by the current president?

  6. One Supreme Court Justice has run for president. Who was it and why do you think that happens so infrequently?

  7. According to Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, To qualify for office, Presidents must be 35, a natural born Citizen, and been a U.S. resident for fourteen Years. Do you like these qualifications or would you like them changed in some way?

  8. Besides the constitutional requirements, what are some other general qualifications or background expectations we have for presidents?

  9. Very few outsiders (people who have never held public office) have become president. Why do you think this is?

  10. What is one consequence of this?

  11. By far, the majority of presidents held public office before becoming president. Explain whether you think that is good or bad.

  12. Based on the chart above and your knowledge of American politics, explain which current Democratic presidential contender you think is most likely to win.

  13. More governors have become president than any of the other offices listed in the chart above. Why do you think that is?

  14. Most presidents who run for reelection win. Why do you think that is?

  15. Explain whether Trump will be reelected president.

  16. The three Presidents who are generally regarded as the best ever are Washington, Lincoln, and Franklin .D. Roosevelt. What offices did they hold before the presidency?

  17. What trend do you see in the following list of the offices held by the most recent presidents?

Nixon Governor

Ford House of Representatives/unelected VP

Carter  Governor

Reagan Governor

Bush Sr. Senator/Vice-President

Clinton Governor

Bush Jr Governor

Obama Senator

Trump Businessperson and Reality TV star

Learning Extension

Read the FiveThirtyEight piece: Which Offices Are Good Stepping Stones To The Presidency?

Action Extension

Explain who you think is going to be the next president, in class or online.

Our World in Data Extension

Political Valentine’s Day Extension

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