Almost President: The Men who Lost the Race But Changed the Nation

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Lyons Press, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 339 pages
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As the 2012 presidential campaign begins, Almost President profiles a dozen men who have run for the American presidency and lost—but who, even in defeat, have had a greater impact on American history than many of those who have served as president. Scott Farris tells us the stories of legendary figures from Henry Clay to Stephen Douglas, William Jennings Bryan to Thomas Dewey. He also includes mini-profiles on every major candidate nominated for president who never reached the White House but who helped ensure the success of American democracy.

Farris explains how Barry Goldwater achieved the party realignment that had eluded FDR, how George McGovern paved the way for Barack Obama, and how Ross Perot changed the way all presidential candidates campaign. There is Al Smith, the first Catholic nominee for president; and Adlai Stevenson, the candidate of the “eggheads” who remains the beau ideal of a liberal statesman. Others covered by this book include Al Gore, John Kerry, and John McCain. The mini profiles also include evocative portraits of such men as John C. Fremont, the first Republican Party presidential candidate; and General Winfield Scott, whose loss helped guarantee the Union victory in the Civil War.

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Today, to attain the Presidency, is to rise to the height of power and influence in the United States and to fail to attain it, a sign that your political career and usefulness to the United States is ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Scott Farris is an experienced political journalist, speechwriter, adviser, and political candidate. A former bureau chief for United Press International and a political columnist, Farris has interviewed most of the men and women who have sought the presidency over the past thirty years. He managed several political campaigns, and was the Democratic Party's 1998 congressional nominee for Wyoming's at-large district, the seat once held by former Vice President Dick Cheney. Farris worked as a senior policy and communications adviser to a U.S. senator, the governors of Wyoming and California, the mayor of Portland, Oregon, two university presidents, and the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne. He worked closely with three presidential administrations and as a volunteer on multiple presidential campaigns. The first American journalist selected to participate in the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service's prestigious International Leadership Seminar, Farris has a master's degree in history from the University of Wyoming, where his thesis focused on President Kennedy's battle with the radical right. He is currently the Director of Government Relations in the western United States for TransCanada, a Canadian-based energy infrastructure company. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two children.

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