Will Travel for District: History's Notable Carpetbaggers

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Word is that Dennis Kucinich is on the hunt for a new political home. The Ohio Congressman’s losing his seat to redistricting, and rather than run head-to-head with a neighboring representative, he’s considering flexing his national celebrity across the country from Cleveland in a Congressional district in Washington State.

There is also speculation that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin may be the new owner of a home in Arizona, and that she's motivated by more than just the mild winters. The state is home to both her daughter Bristol, who recently bought a home there, and an open Senate seat being vacated Republican Senator John Kyl.

This is just political chatter for now, but they would follow a long history of candidates relocating for better political fortunes, a phenomenon otherwise known as carpetbagging.

Here are some of our favorites:

Hillary Clinton – The then-First Lady launched her campaign as the Clinton administration prepared its exit from the White House. A native of Illinois, attended college in Massachusetts and law school in Connecticut before moving to Arkansas for husband Bill Clinton to launch his political career. The Clintons bought a house in Chappaqua in 1999, in anticipation of an election for the seat vacated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1998. She won the race in 2000 and was reelected in 2006 before running for president in 2008.

Elizabeth Dole – The wife of the Bob Dole, the long-serving Kansas Senator, moved from Washington back to her home state to run for retiring Senator Jesse Helms’ seat. She had been active in politics for decades, serving as Secretary of Transportation during the Reagan administration and Secretary of Labor under President George H. W. Bush. She also explored a run for the Republican nomination for President in 2000. She served in the U.S. Senate from 2003 to 2008, but lost her bid for reelection.

Jay Rockefeller – Born in New York City into a family with Republican roots, Democrat Jay Rockefeller has represented the state of West Virginia in the U.S. Senate since 1985. He moved to West Virginia as a VISTA volunteer in the 1964, where he worked in coal mining community. Two years later, he ran for House of Delegates as a Democrat. He was also elected West Virginia Secretary of State and served two terms as governor before joining the Senate .

Robert Kennedy – After serving as Attorney General in his brother John F. Kennedy’s administration, Kennedy moved to New York to run for Senate in 1964. He had lived in New York for a few years as a boy, but he still faced fierce that he was an ambitious carpetbagger. He made light of the criticism, and his wife Ethel Kennedy even suggested this campaign slogan: “There is only so much you can do for Massachusetts.” His victory in the race set him up for his 1968 bid for the presidency. He was killed while celebrating his win in the California presidential primary in June of 1968.


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Comments [4]

steve from dc

These political forums seem to be just as this country is ( it seems ) as much as The President has been offended and disrespected, where are these same people who stood IP for Paul Ryan when somewhat bullied by Joe Biden...if I am to think Mitt Romney has any concern for Blacks/for Minorities...? NO WAY!! And with Mitt Romney's lack luster address to The NAACP and more importantly, his offense to the Israeli. People, calling them inferior!!! Tell, how then should I think he sees me and or people who look something like me? But to add insult to injury, IF YOU ARE A WOMAN, AND YOU'RE OK WIYH PAUL RYAN'S POSITION ON WOMEN'S ( ABORTION ) RIGHTS...YOU WOMEN SEE THESE GUYS AS BELIEVABLE OR FAVORABLE AS PRESIDENT AND VP? LASTLY, REMEMBER, IT WAS THE REPUBLICAN HOUSE WHO SAID ON DAY 1 THEY WILL NOT WORK WITH THIS PRESIDENT!!! AND, THEY WERE TRUE YO THEIR WORD!!!

Oct. 16 2012 09:29 PM

What did RFK give to NYS? What tangible benefits did he provide?

May. 26 2011 02:18 PM
Paul J. Bosco from Manhattan

As a male. I find it counterproductive to label Hillary a carpetbagger. All smart, good-looking women --Hillary isn't a kid anymore, but she's always been, for whatever age, on the fringe of pretty-- should be encouraged to relocate to New York. Preferably the block I live on.

(Not that I will ever forgive Bill & Hill for abandoning the East Timorese to their fates.)

Bobby Kennedy used New York, but didn't he give as much as he got? Should New Yorkers NOT have given him the job?

A bigger concern should be the importation of campaign funds from out-of-state ideologues.

May. 26 2011 01:58 PM

Hillary Clinton and Robert Kennedy were carpetbaggers; Dole and Rockefeller were not. Neither Hillary nor RFK had any connection to NYS, other than his brief time here as a child. I find his slogan and his mocking of his carpetbagging insulting and classic Kennedy.

Elizabeth Dole at least was a native Tarheel had family roots in the state, and Jay Rockefeller moved his way up the ladder of WV politics.

May. 26 2011 09:48 AM

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