What's Your Political I.Q.?: August 20-24


1. The Republican “straw vote” in Ames, Iowa, was held last week. Since it was first held in 1979, how many winners of this straw vote have gone on to be elected President the following year?

2. With the death of Merv Griffin last week, it was frequently pointed out that he had interviewed several Presidents either before or after they were elected. Who was the first President interviewed by Griffin?

3. Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R.-Ill.) announced last week that he would not seek re-election in ’08. How many former speakers of the House are living?

4. Following his poor showing in the Iowa straw vote, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson announced his withdrawal from the GOP presidential sweepstakes. Who was the last announced candidate to quit the Republican presidential race?

5. Karl Rove has just resigned as deputy chief of staff to President Bush. During Bush’s first term, Rove held the title of counselor to the President. Under what President was the title of counselor first used?


1. Only one: George W. Bush in 1999.  (The elder George Bush won the 1979 straw vote, but lost the nomination to Ronald Reagan the following year.  In 1987, then-Vice President Bush placed third in the straw vote but won the presidency in ’88.) 

2. Richard Nixon

3. Three — Democrats Jim Wright of Texas and Thomas Foley of Washington and Republican Newt Gingrich of Georgia.

4. Former Republican Gov. Jim Gilmore of Virginia.

5. Richard Nixon.