07 November 2008

Not Quite All In The Family

1855.


Jeff Merkley's election as junior US Senator from Oregon (Senator Merkley has such a charming ring to it) averted a strange and interesting sort of record.


Gordon Smith happens to be part of a branch of the legendary Udall family, of whose name the most famous and well known to this generation would be perhaps Mo Udall, the congressman from Arizona's 2nd who Jimmy Carter defeated intraparty to become the Democratic nominee for President in 1976.


Actually you may know that. What you may not know that he's second cousins (to be precise, double-second cousins ... I'd explain it, but my eyes just glazed over) to Mark Udall, Democratic junior-Senator elect from Colorado, and Tom Udall, Democratic junior-Senator elect from New Mexico. Had Gordon been successful in re-election, there would have for the first time been three members from a single family holding Senate seats.


There are 100 Senate seats. There are 300,000,000 USAians. I mean, what are the odds here? You guys run the numbers, my brain is doing layout for the OryCon pocket program book.


On the downside, Gordon can't show his cousins around the Capitol. Upside? Probably would have been a little awkward.


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5 comments:

stan said...

If you think those odds are staggering, consider the odds of a father and son both becoming President. Brain-bruising!

By the way, I think that Blogger must have changed their word verification system a little bit to make the captchas a little bit more "word-like". I wonder how that'll affect Zrharc! (I seriously need to add some entries)

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

@Stan:
If you think those odds are staggering, consider the odds of a father and son both becoming President. Brain-bruising!

Certainly considerable. But I note that John Adams and John Q. Adams' success has been paralelled by that of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, so not as impossible. Certainly highly unlikely, as it took more than 200 years to repeat the feat.

By the way, I think that Blogger must have changed their word verification system a little bit to make the captchas a little bit more "word-like". I wonder how that'll affect Zrharc! (I seriously need to add some entries)

I've notice that too. I am remiss on my own contributions, and it sucks because I really seemed to be on a tear there for a little while. But stuff happens.

Zrharc goes to sleep every now and then and then we get back to it and do cool stuff. I enjoy it.

stan said...

The Bushes' feat, though it was not the first such occurence, was much more unlikely in strictly President-to-population statistical terms, given the immense rise in population since John Q became President in 1825. When The Quince™ was elected, there were only between 9.6 and 12.9 million people in the United States (those were the 1820 and 1830 figures), and even then, only white men were able to vote. In 2000, there were 281.4 million Americans, and women and all races were eligible voters.

Of course, I'm not speaking of the political aspects of either election at all; I'm just illustrating the odds defiance based solely on numbers. :)

stan said...

My last captcha was "scarredd", which isn't even fun.

Anonymous said...

Then there is the far more unimpressive duo of William Henry Harrison ("He died in 30 days") as the grandfather of Benjamin Harrison (Paraguay's favorite American president, actually) -- first one elected 1840; second one elected 1888. Note that the second Adams, the second Harrison, and the second Bush became president after coming in losing in the popular vote.

Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt were fifth cousins. But everyone's distant cousins, ala Obama and Cheney.