Matt Lewis

Why Republican governors could benefit from the Obama scandals

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor

Who stands to gain most from the Obama scandals?

So far, the reputations of investigative journalists like Sharyl Attkisson have benefited. And some House Republicans like Reps. Darrel Issa, Trey Gowdy, and Jim Jordan are gaining wider exposure.

But if the scandals continue to dominate the headlines (and it’s too soon to know how this will play out), the big winners will probably not be the Republicans who are leading the charge. Instead, the big winners may be the governors who run for president in 2016.

Consider this: Before Watergate, four of the last five presidents had been U.S. Senators (the exception being Dwight Eisenhower who had never been elected. And, of course, Truman, LBJ and Nixon had also served as vice president.)

And after Watergate, four of the next six presidents were governors (the exception being Vice President Gerald Ford, who wasn’t elected president in his own right, and George H.W. Bush who had served in Congress, and who was essentially elected to Reagan’s third term.)

The most obvious example of this break was the election of a peanut farmer from Georgia named Jimmy Carter.

It’s unlikely that the Obama scandals will rival the impact of Watergate, but if they come to define Obama’s second administration, it might well favor Republicans outside of Washington, DC.

That, of course, could be bad news for Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, et al., and very good news for governors like Walker, Jindal, Pence, Christie, et al.