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While Rake raked leaves today, I realized that my presidential choices have not exactly been in line with the rest of the electorate. I looked back at who I supported/voted for as president and who actually won.

My Presidential Election batting average is .333. In 12 elections, starting with 1960, my candidate won 4 times. If I were a major league ball player, that wouldn’t be too bad. As a citizen, I feel pretty much out in left field.

Here’s who got elected by election year and who I supported/voted for.

1960
Who I voted for/supported: Kennedy
Who won: Kennedy
All good Catholics voted for Kennedy or we would end up in hell for eternity! (That’s what the nuns told us.)

1964
Who I voted for/supported: Goldwater
Who won: Johnson
Like my good friend Hillary Clinton, “In my heart I knew he was right!” Basically, I liked that he was an airplane pilot and I never trusted Johnson. The Vietnam War proved me at least half right.

1968
Who I voted for/supported: Humphrey
Who won: Nixon
Do I really have to explain? OK, HHH was a motor-mouth, a liberal version of Papa Stalin — he was going to take care of us. Like many who voted for him, I started as one of those “Clean for Gene” McCarthy supporters. As for Nixon, anyone who was a friend of Joe McCarthy was an enemy of mine.

1972
Who I voted for/supported: McGovern
Who won: Nixon
This proves that either I am the most erudite political observer, or a total idiot! Watergate and the slow end to the war proved something. I never hated a pol as much as I did Nixon! I wept when Agnew resigned and cheered when Nixon was led out of the White House.

1976
Who I voted for/supported: Carter
Who won: Carter
Victory at last! Giving a pardon to Tricky Dicky was Ford’s downfall in my eyes and in the eyes of many voters.

1980
Who I voted for/supported: Carter
Who won: Reagan
It wasn’t Jimmy’s fault that Iran kidnapped all those Americans or that inflation hit 18%. Or was it? In any case, I am a snob and think the main talent of actors is. . .acting? Besides, I liked the way Carter pronounced the word, “nuclear.”

1984
Who I voted for/supported: Mondale
Who won: Reagan
After Reagan won in 1980 I went into a 12 year political trance. I could not even stand to watch the news. I voted for Mondale because he wasn’t Reagan and he picked Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate.

1988
Who I voted for/supported: Dukakis
Who won: Bush
See! I knew those Bushes were up to no good! In retrospect Bush One was a statesman compared to his son. I think the main reason why I voted for the Duke was Anne Richardson’s speech at the Democratic Convention — “Poor George was born with a silver spoon in his mouth/” Vintage stuff!

1992
Who I voted for/supported: Clinton
Who won: Clinton
Free at last! Free at last! Free at last! I woke up from my political slumber and my girl, Hillary, was finally in the White House. Like this current election, the economy was the main impetus for Clinton’s victory. Bush, no surprise, just didn’t get it.

1996
Who I voted for/supported: Clinton
Who won: Clinton
I am on a roll! And so is the country. The economy is perking along, jobs are up, wages are up, and despite the Gingrich Revolution and bimonthly Clinton scandals invented by the GOP, Bill and Hil get four more years. It didn’t hurt that Bob Dole was the worst GOP candidate in party history.

2000
Who I voted for/supported: Gore
Who won: Bush
This one was Gore’s to lose — and he did. Tough election after Bill’s BJ and impeachment hearings. But another Bush. I became depressed again.

2004
Who I voted for/supported: Kerry
Who won: Bush
I have a theory about the losing ways of Massachusetts liberals like Dukakis and Kerry. Winning in that state as a Democrat is such a slam-dunk, they never learned how to play nasty against the GOP, which is what you need to do if you plan on winning the White House. Living next door to Kerry’s home state I was more than familiar with his pompous campaign style, but by this time it was clear that Bush was living up to his low expectations, screwing up the war, the economy, and American confidence all at the same time.

2008
???/???
Am I going to continue my losing ways? Most likely. But I assure myself as I look at the past, that I might have lost elections but was on the right side of history — most of the time.

So what’s your Presidential Election Batting Average?

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