160 is an even number that presents daunting odds for Hillary Clinton White House run


McClatchy Washington Bureau

If potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is into numerology, she better watch out for the number 160, according to a recent Smithsonian.com article.

That’s the number of years it will be in 2016 since the last person who served as secretary of state was elected president. And the fact that it was James Buchanan, regarded by many historians as one of the worst presidents in American history, isn’t a comforting omen, either.

The secretary of state post used to be a stepping-stone to the White House, according the Smithsonian. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, and Martin Van Buren all served as the nation’s top diplomat before being elected president.

But the requirements of the job changed after the Civil War, historians told the Smithsonian, and the secretary of state became less of a political figure and more of an administrator of policy.

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