Rich Galen

Secondly, Senators have to vote on things all the time. They have to question witnesses at hearings. They have to introduce legislation and amendments, and speak for or against Federal judges, Ambassadors, and senior Executive Branch officials who are subject to the confirmation process.

Governors don't do any of those things.

Governors propose legislation and then either sign the work product of the state legislature or veto it.

Governors, like the President, can pretty much meet with constituents, supporters, and/or interest groups, make a speech or two, open a senior citizen center, meet with his or her department heads to make sure he or she knows what's going on in the state and call it a week.

Senators may have decades of speeches, votes, and constituent communications as well as hallway gossip from rivals inside and outside their party; and on both sides of the Capitol Building as fodder for a battalion of opposition researchers to use in helping make 30 second attack ads.

Some Governors are, like Arizona's Jan Brewer, activist on controversial issues, and some like Chris Christie, have a knack for getting on camera. Governors have rivals, but their researchable records tend to be thinner than Members of the U.S House and Senate.

That is, unless they have, like Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco after Katrina allowed an entire city to be washed away; or like South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford have to admit to having run away from home to have a tryst with a woman from Argentina - IN Argentina. As Texas Governor Rick Perry taught them, if they want to be taken seriously as a Presidential candidate they have to know a lot about what is going on in the rest of the nation and the rest of the world so look for potential candidates to hire experts on energy, foreign affairs, agriculture, fiscal and monetary, and especially issues that are not particularly important to their state.

Governors have the responsibility of watching over the health, safety and welfare of every citizen in his or her state. They're used to the whole "buck stops here" thing. The early line on who will run in the Republican and Democrat primaries for President in 2016 will be heavily weighted toward Senators and Congressmen. Why? Because they work in Washington, DC as to the national political reporters who make up the early lists.

But, if you want to beat the odds, pick a Governor.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at