- Ever wondered what happened to the candidates who didn’t win their presidential elections?
- After losing to Donald Trump in 2016, Hillary Clinton published a best-selling memoir, “What Happened,” about her experience. Hulu released a docuseries about her earlier this year.
- Al Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize and an Academy Award after losing his bid for the presidency.
- Time will tell what President Trump chooses to do after the White House – he has so far refused to concede the race and is pursuing litigation.
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Running for president is no simple â€” or cheap â€” task.The New York Times calculates that the 2020 presidential election cost Joe Biden and Donald Trump a combined $US6.6 billion, totalling more than the presidential election and every congressional contest in 2016.
More than just funds, it takes an outpouring of public support to even run for president. Al Gore, for example, is the 10th most popular Democrat in America, according to YouGov. Gore won the national popular vote by more than 500,000 in his 2000 bid against George Bush, but conceded after narrowly losing the Electoral College vote in Florida.
Though they never became president, Gore and the other losing candidates went on to accomplish great things outside of the White House.
Take a look at what happened to presidential candidates who lost their bids for the White House in recent decades.
John B. Anderson lost to Ronald Reagan in 1980, but changed the way Independents run for president and advocated for Electoral College reform.
John B. Anderson ran as an Independent against Reagan and President Jimmy Carter in 1980. Though he passed away, aged 95, in 2017, Anderson made a great impact in his time.
He was an early advocate for gun control, saying, “What is so wrong about proposing that we licence guns to make sure that felons and mental incompetents don’t get ahold of them?”
His campaign paved the way for future third-party candidates, Walter Mondale and Ralph Nader, to get on the ballot. His proposition that states could not impose more burdens on Independent candidates was accepted by the Supreme Court.
In 1984 he published “The American Economy We Need” and in 1988, “A Proper Institution: Guaranteeing Televised Presidential Debates.” He was the chair of FairVote, an organisation that advocates for electoral reform, from 1996 to 2008.
He supported both Ralph Nader and Barack Obama when they ran for president.
Walter Mondale lost to Ronald Reagan in 1984, but became an international ambassador and published a memoir in 2010.
Like Anderson, Mondale ran as an Independent. His campaign made history by choosing the first woman vice-presidential candidate,Geraldine A. Ferraro, to run on a major party ticket.
Mondale served as President Jimmy Carter’s vice president from 1977 to 1981. He went on to become the US ambassador to Japan under President Clinton from 1993 to 1996, and from 2007 to 2010, he was Norway’s honorary consul general for Minnesota.
A documentary about Mondale’s life, “Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story,” came out in 2008. Two years later, he published his memoir, “The Good Fight: A Life in Liberal Politics.”
Today, Mondale is a superdelegate for the Democratic Party.
Michael Dukakis lost to George H. W. Bush in 1988, but he became an advocate for Electoral College reform.
Though he lost the election to Bush by nearly 7 million votes, Dukakis remained a figure in political life.
In 2000, he published the book, “How to Get Into Politics and Why: A Reader.”
He told the Boston Herald in 2008 he believes the country should do away with the Electoral College and elect based solely on the popular vote. In 2016, he again called for the end of the Electoral College, telling Politico, “Hillary won this election, and when the votes are all counted, by what will likely be more than a million votes. So how come she isn’t going to the White House in January? Because of an anachronistic Electoral College system which should have been abolished 150 years ago.”
Ross Perot lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton (and lost to him again in 1996). Before his death, he was one of the nation’s wealthiest men and helped open a science museum in Dallas.
Though he passed in July 2019, Perot is remembered for his groundbreaking runs for president.
In his 1992 run, Perot received one of the highest percentages of votes ever for an Independent candidate, at 18.9%. In 1996, he formed the Reform Party, and ran as the Reform Party candidate in 1996. He lost to President Clinton.
His company, Perot Systems, a health care and government outsourcing space, was bought by Dell in 2009 for $US3.9 billion.
In 2012, he helped open the The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.
In March 2019, he ranked 478th on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires, with a net worth of $US4.1 billion.
Bob Dole lost to Bill Clinton in 1996, but later won the World Food Prize and endorsed President Trump.
Bob Dole ran on the Republican ticket in the 1996 election against Ross Perot and Bill Clinton.
Just a few months after they were opponents, President Clinton presented Dole with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his military service and political work. In 2005, he published his memoir, “One Soldier’s Story: A Memoir.”
He was tasked by President Bush with co-heading a bipartisan commission to deliver suggestions for improving the military’s health care system.
In 2008, he won the World Food Prize along with former US Senator George McGovern. They created the McGovern-Dole school feeding program, which gave students meals in 41 states.
Dole is a supporter of President Trump, and wrote in a February 5, 2020 tweet that his State of the Union Address was a “home run” and “one of the best.”
Al Gore lost to George Bush in 2000, but won the Nobel Peace Prize and an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2007.
Al Gore has been a central member of the climate change movement for decades, and is the nation’s 10th most popular Democrat, according to YouGov.
Gore’s loss to President Bush was one of the most contentious in history, as he won the national popular vote by more than 500,000 votes, but conceded after a recount of the electoral college votes in Florida.
In 2006, his book, “An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It,” and documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” were released. The documentary won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Documentary.
He published the book “The Assault on Reason” in 2007. That year, he also won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the fight against climate change.
He met with Donald Trump in 2016 to discuss climate change and, at the 2020 World Economic Forum, he delivered closing remarks on climate change, saying, “This is Thermopylae. This is Agincourt. This is Dunkirk. This is the Battle of the Bulge. This is 9/11.”
On Earth Day 2020, Gore tweeted out his endorsement of Joe Biden for president. The New York Times quoted Gore talking about his endorsement during an event later that day.
“If I was talking to one person who had not yet decided who to vote for in this upcoming election, I would just say plainly and simply: This is not complicated,” Gore said. “If you care about the climate crisis, if you want to start solving the climate crisis, this is not rocket science.”
Ralph Nader lost the 1996 election to Bill Clinton, and he also lost the 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections. He went on become a fierce critic of President Trump.
Ralph Nader is perhaps the most famously unsuccessful presidential candidate, having run four times.
Through his runs and losses as a Green Party and Independent candidate, he received a very low percentage of votes, and was removed from Pennsylvania’s 2004 ballot after reports of fraudulent signatures, a move he appealed.
He was involved in a series of lawsuits against the Democratic National Committee between 2007 and 2013, believing they conspired to keep him off the ballot.
In 2014, he published “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.”
An earlier book by Nader, “Unsafe at Any Speed,” had a far-reaching impact on the auto industry, and in 2016 he was inducted to the Automotive Hall of Fame for his work in car safety.
In 2019 he and Mark Green also published the book “Fake President: Decoding Trump’s Gaslighting, Corruption, and General Bulls—.”
In a March 2, 2020, opinion piece for TruthDig, he said, “Delusionary, dictatorial Donald Trump is drunk on power. Trump’s monarchical and lawless actions are a clear and present subversion of our Republic and its Constitution.”
John Kerry lost the 2004 election to George W. Bush, but went on to become secretary of state under President Obama.
John Kerry announced his candidacy in 2003 after saying that he thought President Bush was taking America in the “wrong direction.” Kerry conceded the close race to Bush after losing the state of Ohio, whose electoral votes pushed Bush over the required threshold.
In 2008, he won a fifth term in the US Senate, and from 2009 to 2013 he served as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In 2012, he was nominated for secretary of state under Barack Obama, and was confirmed by the Senate in 2013. He finalised a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015 and, later that year, he went to Havana, Cuba, to raise the flag above the US Embassy, which reopened for the first time in 54 years.
He retired from the role in 2017. A year later he published his memoir, “Every Day Is Extra.”
Last year, he launched World War Zero, a bipartisan initiative of world leaders and celebrities to combat the climate crisis.
In December 2019, Kerry endorsed Joe Biden saying, “I believe Joe Biden is the President our country desperately needs right now, not because I’ve known Joe so long, but because I know Joe so well,” according to CNN.
John McCain lost the 2008 election to Barack Obama, but continued his decades-long career in the Senate.
A decorated war hero, John McCain died of cancer in 2018 at age 81.
McCain served in Vietnam and was a prisoner of war there for five and a half years. Among his numerous military decorations and awards, he was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, a Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
He was re-elected to the Senate for the fifth time following his loss in the 2008 election.
In 2013, he travelled to Syria, Egypt, and Ukraine to help settle international conflicts.
In 2016, he was elected to the Senate for a sixth term. A year later, he made history when he voted “no” on the Republican Party’s Obamacare repeal bill, saying that he believed the process was flawed.
In 2018, his memoir, “The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations,” was published.
“He would fight tooth and nail for his vision of the common good,” Mitch McConnell said after McCain’s death. “Depending on the issue, you knew John would be either your staunchest ally or your most stubborn opponent.”
Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump, and went on to publish a memoir on her experience, “What Happened.”
The first female candidate for a major party, Hillary Clinton lost her 2016 run to Donald Trump.
She was secretary of state under President Obama, but stepped down in 2013, several months after an attack on the Benghazi consulate left a US ambassador and three other Americans dead.
Her presidential campaign was marred by reports of her use of a personal email account and server when handling high-security documents and information, which led to talks of criminal charges against her. Clinton, who said she used the private email for convenience, was cleared of wrongdoing.
After losing her bid for president, she released a best-selling memoir in 2017, “What Happened,” explaining what it was like to run for president and lose to Donald Trump.
In 2019, she published “The Book of Gutsy Women” with her daughter, Chelsea.
Earlier this year, Hulu released a docuseries, “Hillary,” about her life and her experience of the 2016 election.
In April, Clinton endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president, during a virtual event with the Democratic presidential candidate. She said, “I am thrilled to be part of your campaign, to not only endorse you but to help highlight a lot of the issues that are at stake in this presidential election,” according to CNBC.
While Donald Trump won the 2016 election, he lost both the popular vote and Electoral College in 2020. Time will tell what he does following his term.
Although Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, Trump has so far refused to concede the race and is pursuing litigation, falsely claiming he won the election.
Though every former living US president has congratulated Biden on his win and some Republicans like Mitt Romney have condemned the president for refusing to concede, Trump is still baselessly claiming there was voter fraud.
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