Students on Christmas break are safe from pop quizzes until next month, aka next year.
That is, unless they are reading this column.
So in honor of the quixotic White House quest that our plucky senior senator Lindsey Graham finally gave up Monday (see front-page story and editorial on Page A8), test your presidential knowledge (answers at column’s end):
1) Name the only president born in South Carolina.
2) Name the U.S. currency that contains an image of that S.C.-born president’s face and the historic shame now powering calls to strip him of that honor.
3) Name three actors who have played — or will play — that lone S.C.-born president on the big or small screen.
4) Name the last native South Carolinian on a major-party presidential ticket.
5) Name the last S.C. politician, before Graham, to seek a major-party presidential nomination.
6) Name the current Oval Office aspirants born in states — or places other than states — in which no presidents have been born.
7) Name the states that South Carolina Gov. Strom Thurmond carried while running for president on the States Rights Democratic Party (aka “Dixiecrat”) ticket in 1948. Name his running mate, too.
8) Name the only president born in California.
9) Name the states that George Wallace of Alabama carried while running for president on the American Independent Party ticket in 1968. Name his running mate, too.
10) Name the pressing priority recently cited by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as precluding her current consideration of becoming the running mate for whoever wins the 2016 Republican nomination.
11) Name the other two woman governors mentioned by some analysts as potential GOP VP candidates.
12) Name the last sitting governor on a major-party national ticket.
1) Andrew Jackson was born in Lancaster County, S.C., despite sore-loser claims to the contrary by some North Carolinians. However, Jackson’s rise to political prominence came not as a Carolinian of any kind, but as a Tennesseean.
2) Jackson’s driving-force role behind the cruel “Trail of Tears” exodus of Cherokees from the South to what is now Oklahoma is increasingly cited as a basis from removing his face from the $20 bill.
3) Charlton Heston plays the role of Jackson in “The President’s Lady” (1953) and in “The Buccaneer” (1958). Kris Kristofferson plays Jackson in the History Channel miniseries “Texas Rising” (2015). And according to a scoop last week from Deadline Hollywood, Sean Penn will play the title role in an HBO miniseries, scheduled to start production in 2016, based on Jon Meacham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.”
4) John Edwards, born in Seneca, was John Kerry’s running mate on the 2004 Democratic ticket.
5) No, not Edwards. Though born in this state and a walk-on safety on Clemson’s 1971 freshman football team, he graduated from N.C. State and the University of North Carolina Law School and served as a senator from that Carolina. Thus, he doesn’t rate “S.C. politician” billing.
That makes Ernest F. Hollings the last S.C. politician, before Graham, to make a bid for a major-party presidential nomination. Hollings fell far short in that 1984 run as the Democrats went with Walter Mondale, who then lost 49 states to Ronald Reagan.
6) Ben Carson (Michigan), Ted Cruz (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), Martin O’Malley (Washington, D.C.), Marco Rubio (Florida).
7) Thurmond, with Mississippi Gov. Fielding Wright as his running mate, carried Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina in the 1948 presidential election. The Thurmond-Wright ticket also got one electoral vote from Tennessee.
8) Richard Nixon remains our only president born in California (Yorba Linda).
9) Wallace, with former Air Force Gen. Curtis “Bombs Away” LeMay as his running mate, carried Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi in the 1968 presidential election. But Nixon, with Thurmond’s backing, carried South Carolina and won the White House.
10) Haley, asked by the host of the SEC Network’s “Paul Finebaum Show” on Dec. 11 about speculation of her being on the 2016 GOP ticket, replied: “I am really focused on this Clemson game (against Oklahoma on Dec. 31 in the national football playoff semifinals). That is really consuming every ounce of every minute of every day.”
Clemson grad Haley was kidding. Well, probably.
11) Govs. Susana Martinez (New Mexico) and Mary Fallin (Oklahoma), like Haley, have been mentioned by assorted analysts as potential VP candidates. But Martinez’ star might fade in the harsh light of her staff celebrating the season a bit too raucously Saturday night in Santa Fe.
From a statement issued Sunday by Martinez: “There was apparently a party in a hotel room earlier in the night that was disruptive. Someone was also throwing snowballs from a balcony. None of that should have happened and I was not aware of the extent of the behavior, until recently. And that behavior is not acceptable.”
12) Sarah Palin, then governor of Alaska, was John McCain’s running mate on the 2008 Republican ticket that lost to the Democrats’ Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket.
Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His email is email@example.com.