Some high-profile Republicans in Congress are working hard to bolster their legislative credentials, sponsoring a slate of bills this year alone as they ponder 2016 presidential bids, The Washington Times reports
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul "have led sponsorships of a couple of dozen bills this year" and hundreds over their tenure in Congress, the Times noted. But the paper quickly added that their efforts come as they work to compare their resumes to the policy experience and management skills of governors — oft thought to be stronger training for the White House.
"There's only been one sitting Republican senator elected president — Warren G. Harding nearly a century ago. Governors and former governors have done much better," Charlie Gerow, a board member of the American Conservative Union, told the Times.
The first-term lawmakers, while productive in sponsorships, have taken just three bills through the Senate, the Times said, citing records from the Library of Congress.
Their track records may send voters looking for governors like New Jersey's Chris Christie and Florida's former Gov. Jeb Bush, who also are continuing to ramp up what many think are certain presidential primary runs.
Whether the senators get any future traction remains a question. Wrote Nate Silver in 2011 in the New York Times' FiveThirtyEight blog
: "Since the modern primary era began in 1972, there have been 15 competitive presidential primary campaigns … The 15 competitive nominations have been won by five candidates whose most recent elected office was governor, five United States senators, three vice presidents, and two sitting presidents.
Silver added, noting the data wasn't exactly useful: "Only about half as many governors as senators have run for president since 1972, so their batting average is much higher: 17 percent of governors who officially ran for their nominations went on to win them, versus 9 percent of senators who did so."
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