10 MOST FAMOUS POLITICIANS FROM MY HOME STATE (IL), RANKED
Includes politicians who spent significant time in Illinois, even if they held elected office elsewhere. Based less on policy, and more on how proud we Illinoisans are of them.
- •Dennis Hastert - Speaker of the House from 1999-2007Congressman from the northwest Chicago suburbs. Awful choice in glasses oh and also he raped teenage boys and spent federal money to cover it up for decades. 0/10 rot in prison you monster.
- •Rod Blagojevich - Governor of Illinois from 2003-2008Once seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party and a likely 2012-2016 Presidential Candidate. Until he tried to sell President Obama's open Senate Seat. Great speaker and awesome hair though. Also in jail.
- •Stephen Douglas - Democratic Nominee for President, 1860Wanted to expand slavery to new territories so he could make money on railroads. Also ran against fellow Illinoisan Abraham Lincoln for Senate in 1858 and President in 1860. Plus look at this picture... he kind of looks like pure evil? Redeemed a bit at Lincoln's first inauguration when he took Abe's stovepipe hat and said "If I can't be President, at least I can hold his hat"
- •Adlai Stevenson - Vice President of the United States from 1893-1897Born in Kentucky but moved to Illinois as a young teenager, eventually representing the State in Congress. Non-influential as Vice President. Was basically nominated at the convention by his powerful family. Was not asked back on the ticket when Grover Cleveland was nominated again in 1900, even with this killer mustache.
- •Adlai Stevenson II - Democratic Presidential Nominee, 1952, 1956A former Governor of Illinois. Adlai Stevenson II was the standard bearer and perennial presidential candidate for a dying age of Democrats following World War II. Enormously popular public speaker, and an enormous nose. Kennedy eventually nominated him to be the Ambassador to the United Nations.
- •Hillary Clinton - First Lady of the United States from 1993-2001, U.S. Senator from New York from 2001-2009, U.S. Secretary of State from 2009-2013, Democratic Nominee for President, 2016You may not know that Madame President Hillary Clinton was born and spent her formative years in Chicago and actually spent many years volunteering for Republican candidates. Her politics changed during the Civil Rights movement and she started the journey that has lead her to now, the almost-assuredly first Female President of the United States.
- •Ulysses S. Grant - President of the United States from 1869-1877Born and raised in Galena, Illinois. General Grant lead the Union to decisive victory in The Civil War and took over the reconstruction effort after President Johnson bungled it. Worked tirelessly to end Confederate sympathy and protect former slaves citizenship. He's so badass and cool. Plus, he's like, a really beautiful man.
- •Ronald Reagan - President of the United States from 1981-1989One of the greatest communicators in modern political history, and still referenced daily by Republican politicians as the party's standard bearer. Born about an hour from where I grew up, and attended Eureka College in Central Illinois. Also spent his early career years as an announcer for the Chicago Cubs. Master of the "homely" kind of public speaking that just makes you trust a guy.
- •Barack Obama - President of the United States from 2009-PresentRegardless of politics, Barack Obama is just the coolest President we've ever had. The first black President, and one of the best public speakers we've ever seen. While he spent his early life all over the globe, he eventually settled in Illinois and that's where he got involved in a political career that eventually lead to a historic rise to the White House over former Illinoisan Hillary Clinton.
- •Abraham Lincoln - President of the United States from 1861-1865The great emancipator and one of the most prolific public speakers in American history (notice a trend?). He ended slavery and is widely considered one of the greatest leaders this country has ever seen. We're called the Land of Lincoln for a reason.