By The Numbers: Obama and Palin vs the last 100 years – Experience Table

My Scoring:
Points (per year) Category
+3 Vice Presidency
+2 Executive position
3 Federal Government
2 State Government
1 Local Government
1 Year served in Military

Experience at time of Assuming Office* Name Office Party Term Experience




Rank out of 41
Score Start End Educational
Personal Military Professional Political





Candidates for President / Vice President
5 102 John McCain R US Naval Academy, Annapolis National War College, Fort McNair 7 Children, Boxing Navy, 1954-1981, Pilot. Vietnam 1967-1973. POW 1967-1973, Flight Instructor. Captain. 17 awards. Father and Grandfather 4 star Navy Admirals. 3 children in Military, two Iraq war veterans. Navy Senate Liaison (4 yrs), VP Public Relations, Hensley & Co. (1 yr) U.S. House of Rep. (1983-1987) U.S. Senate (1987-2008)
37 23 Barack Obama D B.A. Political Science J.D. Harvard Law 2 Children, Basketball None Chicago Community Organizer (3 yrs); Director of Project Vote (1 yr); Concurrently (12 yrs): Attorney, Writer (~1 yr full time), Attorney, Lecturer at Chicago Law School, Board of directors of various groups. Illinois Senate (1997-2004) U.S. Senate (2005-2008)
3 107 Joe Biden D B.A. Political Science and History J.D. Syracuse University College of Law 4 Children None, elder son in National Guard to be deployed to Iraq in Oct. Since 1991 adjunct professor, Widener University of Law, Board of the Close Up Foundation New Castle County Council (1970-1972) U.S. Senate (1973-2008)
28 34 Sarah Palin R B.S. Communications-Journalism, minor in Political Science 5 Children, Flute, Basketball None, elder son in Army to be deployed to Iraq this month. Mother, TV Reporter, Commercial Fishing Company, Director of 527 group (2 years) Wasilla City Council (1992-1996) Mayor, Wasilla (1996-2002) Alaska Oil and Gas Commission Chair (2003-2004) Governor of Alaska (2006-2008)
Current and Past Presidents / Vice Presidents
34 25 George W. Bush Pres R 2001 2009 B.A. History MBA Harvard University 2 Children, Basketball Texas Air National Guard, Alabama Air National Guard, Pilot (1968-1973) Oil Industry (~10 yrs.) Founder of Bush Exploration, Chairman of Spectrum 7, Board of directors of Harken Energy. Texas Rangers, Managing general partner (5 yrs) Governor of Texas (1995-2000)
21 45 Dick Cheney VP R 2001 2009 B.A. Political Science M.A. Political Science 2 Children None Various White House appointments, (1969-1978) White House Chief of Staff (1978-1979) U.S. House of Rep. (1979-1989) US Secretary of Defense (1989-1993)
17 52 Bill Clinton Pres D 1993 2001 B.S. Foreign Service J.D. Yale Law School 1 Child, Tenor Sax None Professor, University of Arkansas (1 yr) Attorney General of Arkansas (1976-1978) Governor of Arkansas (1978-1980, 1982-1992)
18 50 Al Gore VP D 1993 2001 B.A. Government 3 Children Army, 1969-1971, Engineer. Vietnam 1971 Investigative reporter, (1971-1976) U.S. House of Rep. (1977-1985) U.S. Senate (1985-1993)
9 78 George H. W. Bush Pres R 1989 1993 B.A. Economics 6 Children, Basketball, Baseball Navy, 1942-1945, Pilot. WWII 1943-1945, Lieutenant. Flight Instructor. 3 awards. Founded various oil development companies, chairman and president. Bank chairman. Professor. U.S. House of Rep. (1967-1971) US Ambassador to the UN (1971-1973) Chief of Liaison Office to China (1974-1975) Director of Central Intelligence (1976-1977) Vice Pres. Of US (1981-1989)
23 42 Dan Quayle VP R 1989 1993 B.A. Political Science J.D. Indiana Univ. School of Law Indianapolis 3 Children Indiana Army National Guard, 1969-1975, Sergeant Investigator, Indiana Attorney General’s Office (1 yr.); IN Dept. of Revenue (2 yrs.); Associate publisher, Huntington Herald-Press, private law practice. U.S. House of Rep. (1976-1980) U.S. Senate (1980-1988)
24 40 Ronald Reagan Pres R 1981 1989 B.A. Economics and Sociology 5 Children, Football Army, 1937-1945, Captain, Film Division Radio announcer (5 yrs), Actor, President of the Screen Actors Guild (8 yrs.) Governor of California (1967-1975)
30 30 George H. W. Bush VP R 1981 1989 B.A. Economics 6 Children, Basketball, Baseball Navy, 1942-1945, Pilot. WWII 1943-1945, Lieutenant. Flight Instructor. 3 awards. Founded various oil development companies, chairman and president. Bank chairman. Professor. U.S. House of Rep. (1967-1971) US Ambassador to the UN (1971-1973) Chief of Liaison Office to China (1974-1975) Director of Central Intelligence (1976-1977)
27 36 James Carter Jr. Pres D 1977 1981 B.S. 4 Children, Basketball, FFA Navy, ~1944-1953, Lieutenant, Submarines. Elder son served in Navy and Vietnam. Peanut farmer (~7 yrs.). Served on various local boards, school, hospital, library, etc. Georgia Senate (1963-1966) Governor of Georgia (1971-1975)
20 46 Walter Mondale VP D 1977 1981 B.A. Political Science J.D. University of Minnesota Law School 3 Children Army, 1956-1958, Corporal Minnesota Law Review, law clerk MN Supreme Court, Attorney (4 yrs) Attorney General of Minnesota (1960-1964) U.S. Senate (1964-1976)
8 82 Gerald Ford Pres R 1974 1977 B.A. Political Science and Economics J.D. Yale Law School 4 Children. Eagle Scout, Football, Golf Navy, 1942-1946, Pilot. WWII 1943-1945, Lieutenant Commander. Instructor. 15 awards. Attorney, Private practice (1 yr) U.S. House of Rep. (1949-1973) Vice Pres. Of US (1973-1974)
1 113 Nelson Rockefeller VP R 1974 1977 Dartmouth College 7 Children None President of the Museum of Modern Art (19 yrs), various family businesses and philanthropies. Numerous federal political appointments (1940-1959) Governor of New York (1959-1973)
14 70 Richard Nixon Pres R 1969 1974 Whittier College J.D. Duke University School of Law 2 daughters. Football, music, theater Navy, 1942-1946, Pilot. WWII 1943-1945, Lieutenant Commander. Worked at family store, Attorney U.S. House of Rep. (1947-1950) U.S. Senate (1950-1953) Vice Pres. Of US (1953-1961)
35 24 Spiro T. Agnew VP R 1969 1973 Johns Hopkins University J.D. University of Baltimore School of Law 4 Children Army, 1941-1945. WWII Grocer, Insurance Salesman, Attorney Baltimore County Executive (1962-1966) Governor of Maryland (1962-1966)
10 76 Gerald Ford VP R 1973 1974 B.A. Political Science and Economics J.D. Yale Law School 4 Children. Eagle Scout, Football, Golf Navy, 1942-1946, Pilot. WWII 1943-1945, Lieutenant Commander. Instructor. 15 awards. Attorney, Private practice (1 yr) U.S. House of Rep. (1949-1973)
7 85 Lyndon B. Johnson Pres D 1963 1969 Southwest Texas State 2 Children Navy Reserves (1941-?), Commissioned Officer, Silver Star Teacher in Mexico and US U.S. House of Rep. (1937-1949) U.S. Senate (1949-1961) Vice Pres. Of US (1963-1965)
30 30 Hubert Humphrey VP D 1965 1969 B.A. Political Science M.A. Political Science 4 Children Rejected twice for medical reasons Pharmacist, Family Drugstore (7 yrs), College instructor (2 yrs), Chief of MN war service program (1 yr), Radio commentator (2 yrs) Mayor, Minneapolis, MN (1945-1948) U.S. Senate (1971-1978)
22 43 John F. Kennedy Pres D 1961 1963 B.A. International Affairs 2 Children Navy, 1941-1945, Lieutenant, Torpedo Boat, WWII 1941-1945. 4 awards. Ranch hand, world traveler (2 years) U.S. House of Rep. (1947-1953) U.S. Senate (1953-1960)
11 73 Lyndon B. Johnson VP D 1961 1963 Southwest Texas State 2 Children Navy Reserves (1941-?), Commissioned Officer, 1 award. Brother killed in combat. Teacher in Mexico and US U.S. House of Rep. (1937-1949) U.S. Senate (1949-1961)
11 73 Dwight D. Eisenhower Pres R 1953 1961 West Point Academy 2 Children, Baseball, Football General of the Army, Supreme Allied Commander, Army Chief of Staff (1915-1953), (1961-1969), Numerous awards. Son in Army. President of Columbia University (5 yrs) Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. (1943-1945) Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army (1945-1948) Supreme Commander NATO (1950-1952)
39 22 Richard Nixon VP R 1953 1961 Whittier College J.D. Duke University School of Law 2 daughters. Football, music, theater Navy, 1942-1946, Pilot. WWII 1943-1945, Lieutenant Commander. Worked at family store, Attorney U.S. House of Rep. (1947-1950) U.S. Senate (1950-1953)
11 73 Harry S. Truman Pres D 1945 1953 Two years of law school, No degree 1 Child. Piano, reading, history Army National Guard, 1905-1920, Colonel, WWI Small business, farmer County Court Judge (Commissioner), (1922-1924, 1925-1933) Missouri director for Federal Re-Employment Program (1933-1945) U.S. Senate (1935-1945) Vice Pres. Of US (1945-1945)
2 108 Alben W. Barkley VP D 1945 1953 Emory College J.D. University of Virginia Law School Unknown None Prosecuting Attorney, Judge (4 yrs) U.S. House of Rep. (1913-1927) U.S. Senate (1927-1949, 1955-1956)
25 37 Franklin D. Roosevelt Pres D 1933 1945 Harvard University 6 Children, Boy Scouts None Corporate Lawyer, President of NY City Boy Scout Federation (4 yrs) New York Senate (1911-1913) Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1913-1920) Governor of New York (1929-1932)
3 107 John N. Garner VP D 1933 1941 Vanderbuilt University (1 yr). No degree Law School, unknown. 1 Child None Attorney County Judge (Executive position) Uvalde County (1893-1896) Texas State House of Reps. (1898-1902) U.S. House of Rep. (1903-1933)
35 24 Henry A Wallace VP D 1941 1945 Iowa State College, Ames Unknown None Journalist, writer, Editor (19 yrs). Farmer. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (1933-1940) U.S. Secretary of Commerce (1945-1946)
15 67 Harry S. Truman VP D 1945 1945 Two years of law school, No degree 1 Child. Piano, reading, history Army National Guard, 1905-1920, Colonel, WWI Small business, farmer County Court Judge (Commissioner), (1922-1924, 1925-1933) Missouri director for Federal Re-Employment Program (1933-1945) U.S. Senate (1935-1945)
29 33 Herbert Hoover Pres R 1929 1933 B.S. Geology 2 Children, Baseball, Football None USGS, Mining Engineer. Author. Humanitarian efforts during WWI. Head of Committee for Relief in Belgium. Head of American Food Administration (1917-1921) U.S. Secretary of Commerce (1921-1928)
6 99 Charles Curtis VP R 1929 1933 Unknown 3 Children, horse racing None Prosecuting Attorney (4 yrs) U.S. House of Rep. (1893-1907) U.S. Senate (1907-1913, 1915-1928)
19 49 Calvin Coolidge Pres R 1923 1929 Amherst 2 Children None law apprentice. Attorney, private practice City Government, Northampton (1898-1901) Massachusetts House of Reps. (1907-1909) Mayor, Northampton (1910-1914) Massachusetts Senate (1914-1915) Lieutenant Gov. of Massachusetts (1916-1919) Governor of Massachusetts (1919-1921) Vice Pres. Of US (1921-1923)
37 23 Charles G. Dawes VP R 1925 1929 Marietta College Cincinnati Law School 4 Children. Pianist, Composer Army (1914-1919), Brigadier General, WWI Attorney. President Lacrosse Gas Light Co. and Northwestern Gas Light and Coke Co. President Central Trust Co. of Illinois Comptroller of the Currency, US Dept. of Treasury (1898-1901) Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (1921-1922) Allied Reparations Commission (1923-1924)
30 30 Warren G. Harding Pres R 1921 1923 Ohio Central College 1 Child Journalist, publisher, owner Marion Daily Star. Ohio State Senate (1899-1903) Lieutenant Governor of Ohio (1903-1905) U.S. Senate (1915-1921)
25 37 Calvin Coolidge VP R 1921 1923 Amherst 2 Children None law apprentice. Attorney, private practice City Government, Northampton (1898-1901) Massachusetts House of Reps. (1907-1909) Mayor, Northampton (1910-1914) Massachusetts Senate (1914-1915) Lieutenant Gov. of Massachusetts (1916-1919) Governor of Massachusetts (1919-1921)
41 8 Woodrow Wilson Pres D 1913 1921 Princeton University Ph.D Political Science 3 Children, Glee Club, debate, cars, baseball None Attorney, private practice. Author. Professor. President of Princeton University (8 yrs) Governor of New Jersey (1911-1913)
40 16 Thomas R. Marshall VP D 1913 1921 Wabash College Unknown Unknown Attorney Governor of Indiana (1909-1913)
33 26 William Howard Taft Pres R 1909 1913 Yale College B.A. Laws Son served in WWI Layer, Prosecutor, Superior Court Judge. Dean and professor of constitutional law, University of Cincinnati. U.S. Solicitor General (1890-1892) Civil Governor of the Philippines (1901-1903) U.S. Secretary of War (1904-1908) Provisional Governor of Cuba (1 mo.)
16 66 James S. Sherman VP R 1909 1912 Hamilton College Unknown Attorney, President Utica Trust & Deposit Co. and New Hartford Canning Co. Mayor, Utica, NY (1884-1886) U.S. House of Reps. (1886-1890, 1892-1908)