Gov. Crist Would Not Be First Bachelor Vice President – Vice Pres. King Was Longtime Companion of Pres. Buchanan

Florida’s Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican and a bachelor, is on notice:

Longtime Washington Republican operative Roger Stone is the latest to talk up the vice-presidential possibilities of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

But Stone says wedding bells are going to have to be audible in the next few months for Crist to be considered in the veepstakes.

Stone writes: “Bachelors don’t get selected for vice president. While Crist denies any vice president ambitions (as a good politician should), should the Governor marry in the next six months, it would be clear that he is a hopeful candidate.”

Stone is incorrect. A bachelor, William Rufus de Vane King (update: new link), was selected to serve with Pres. Franklin Pierce, in 1852:

…King, the 13th vice president, died [on April 18, 1853] of tuberculosis six weeks after being inaugurated. He was the nation’s only bachelor vice president, but according to [Steve Tally, author of “Bland Ambition: From Adams to Quayle – The Cranks, Criminals, Tax Cheats, and Golfers Who Made it to Vice President,” published in 1992], it also was widely rumored that he was a homosexual and his rumored lover was James Buchanan, the country’s 15th president.

“He was certainly a fop and a sissy,” Tally says about King, who wore silk scarves, glittery accouterments and a powdered wig long after it was fashionable. King’s contemporaries called him “Miss Nancy” and “Aunt Fancy.” Asked if some readers might be upset to read that one of the country’s vice president was a homosexual, Tally replied, “I think they should be upset that they elected an alcoholic dying of a terminal disease.”

King was born in North Carolina in 1786, and represented the state in the House of Representatives for two terms before moving south and working to organize the government of Alabama. Upon statehood in 1819, he was elected to the Senate, where he represented Alabama for 25 years, during which he shared digs in Washington with Buchanan. After King and Buchanan died, their nieces destroyed all the letters their uncles had written one another.

Crist, who took office in January after Gov. Jeb Bush was term-limited out, registered a 65 percent approval rating in the Quinnipiac poll in October. Having a politician from Florida who is as popular as Crist on the ticket next year couldn’t hurt, and could even deliver the presidency to the GOP if the vote is as close as it was in 2000.

Crist was married for six months, from July 1979 to December 1980.

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