The last guy to be elected president without having won statewide or national office was Dwight D. Eisenhower...De Gaulle?
... Gingrich is a devotee of the historian Arnold J. Toynbee, who meditated on the concept of “departure and return” — the idea that great leaders have to leave (or be banished from) their kingdoms before they can better themselves and return as conquering heroes. One of Newt’s heroes, the French general and statesman Charles de Gaulle, embodies just this kind of romantic narrative, having spent 12 years out of power before returning to lead his country.Reagan?
So does Ronald Reagan, who traveled the country after losing his bid for the Republican nomination in 1976, then came roaring back to win it all four years later.Nixon?
Unlike Mr. Reagan, who even in his lower moments retained a certain celebrity appeal, Mr. Nixon was humiliated and all but exiled after publicly self-destructing in 1962. He then retreated to the sidelines and watched as his party disintegrated, leaving a vacuum of leadership and gravitas on the right that enabled Mr. Nixon to make one of the great comebacks in political history.