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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

As Adlai Stevenson (1952, 1956) said, "In America, anyone can grow up to be President. It's the chance we take in a democracy."

National Journal has a fascinating, and schadenfreude-inducing, article up. Is the 2016 presidential field- like the Duggars, 19 and counting- as unusual as it seems?

The magazine hopped into its Wayback Machine to consider the state of play as of yesterday in 2003, 2007 and 2011.

In the first and last of the three- the status quo, with a sitting president on one side or the other- NJ found by this time a year out there were 10 candidates between the parties.

In retrospect, the "What Were The Thinking" urge is strong, considering the fields: in 2003, there was Howard Dean, Al Sharpton, Richard Gephardt, Joe Lieberman, Bob Graham, Dennis Kucinich, Carol Moseley-Braun, John Edwards, John Kerry and Wesley Clark. In 2011, Gary Johnson, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Thaddeus McCotter, Buddy Roemer were in the race, while Rick Perry dawdled until August, the last to enter and, it turned out, one of the first to go home.

But in the last open-seat election for President- in 2008- the parties heaved up twenty-two potential presidents: Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo, Tommy Thompson, John McCain, Jim Gilmore, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Tom Vilsack and Evan Bayh.

So you see, it can be worse.

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