Like the title says. We’re keeping it recent because otherwise it’s too much work, and there’s no drama due to the unstoppable love affair that was 1856’s Buchanan-Breckinridge ticket. The electricity between those two. My word. Quibble with the rankings all you like, but remember that these are the true and factual rankings.
26. 1984 (D) Mondale-Ferraro
I mean, look at them. He looks like the creepy old guy from a suspense movie who you think is the serial killer, but then you’re like, no, he’s too creepy, it’d be too obvious, then it turns out he was the killer after all.
25. 1976 (R) Ford-Dole
A war hero and a football star. The only thing keeping them from being last is that Gerald Ford’s birth name is Leslie.
24. 2000 (D) Gore-Lieberman
Droopy Joe really takes things down a notch here. This was a really weird election to look back on because it’s basically the only one where stupid idiots weren’t like THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIFETIME, so the debates were primarily used to suss out which candidate was taller and had better hair. Which is why Bush won.
23. 1988 (D) Dukakis-Bentsen
Lloyd Bentsen’s old man belligerence carries them beyond Gore-Lieberman, but that’s it. The tank, oh the tank.
22. 1980 (D) Carter-Mondale
I hate to beat up on old Walt Mondale, but I mean, it’s hard to get in the mood for homoerotic Veep-on-Prez action when you know you’re going to lose by one United States of America.
21. 1996 (R) Dole-Kemp
The spark had long gone out of this one. Also, Bob Dole’s defective arm isn’t helping things. Sure he’s heroic, but how did being a returning crippled war hero work out for Lt. Wally Worthington? Not good. It turned out not good.
20. 1976 (D) Carter-Mondale
Well, the first time around, at least they knew they were going to win, so they had something to be happy about.
19. 1972 (D) McGovern-Shriver
Rebounding from a rough breakup with Thomas Eagleton, George McGovern was looking for love in all the wrong places (i.e. from the American people who were pretty clear that they didn’t want him to be president).
18. 2008 (R) McCain-Palin
Much more of a father-daughter vibe, besides, McCain was always keeping things platonic with his love of calling everyone “My friends.”
17. 2012 (R) Romney-Ryan
Paul Ryan is going to teach Mitt Romney “what it is we call love” one ill-fitting David Byrne-style suit at a time.
16. 1980 (I) Anderson-Lucey
There’s a certain amount of devil-may-care-ness to running as an independent and taking over 6% of the vote, but honestly, who the hell is Lucey?
15. 2012 (D) Obama-Biden
Obama looks a hundred years older than when he started in as president.
14. 2004 (D) Kerry-Edwards
On paper, these guys should be higher. John Kerry, the multi-millionaire wind surfing playboy. John Edwards, the impossibly good looking guy who was trying to bang everything in The Two Americas. And yet, there was no chemistry between the two, perhaps because of John Kerry’s horseface, but also because they probably hated each other.
13. 1996 (D) Clinton-Gore
The older, more mature iteration. Still good, but not quite as exciting as the first time.
12. 2008 (D) Obama-Biden
I think I don’t need to sell you on Barack Obama. But ’08 Vintage Biden? A silver fox.
11. 2000 (R) Bush-Cheney
2000-era George Bush was just a lost puppydog. Plus there was some weird 50 Shades of Gray vibes coming from Dick Cheney, which counts for something.
10. 1992 (R) Bush-Quayle
Definitely some Boy Scout and Scoutmaster things happening here. Not saying I approve, just noting it.
9. 1980 (R) Reagan-Bush
Kinda a frenemies feel after they both fought for the nomination. But there’s no denying Ron Ron’s magnetism.
8. 1988 (R) Bush-Quayle
Like 1992, but they were less old.
7. 2000 (Reform) Buchanan-Foster
Crazy people = unrelenting “will they or won’t they” dynamic.
6. 2000 (Green) Nader-LaDuke
Unlike prior mixed gender tickets, on this one, both parties had some appeal. Ralph Nader does lose some points for killing the ultimate making out at the drive-in car.
5. 2004 (R) Bush-Cheney
Their swag was at an all-time high. They were like a Republican Thelma & Louise–except instead they drove a nation off a cliff. #TrenchantCommentary
4. 1984 (R) Reagan-Bush
Speaking of all-time high swag, they were not to be messed with in 1984, and the rift had healed from 1980 when it became clear that GHWB was the heir apparent.
3. 1992 (D) Clinton-Gore
The youngest Prez-VP combo ever, and two good lookin’ Southern dudes. Plus Bubba was coming off all of the sex scandals, which only enhanced his appeal.
2. 1992 (Reform) Perot-Stockdale
First of all, his full name was Admiral James Bond Stockdale. Second of all, Ross “Let Me Finish” Perot just has so much crazyperson energy, it’s undeniable.
1. 1972 (R) Nixon-Agnew
Now more than ever indeed. There was no containing the Bulldog-like charisma and intensity of these two men, who, despite being pretty much regarded as terrible people managed to turn one of the greatest presidential landslides ever into disgraceful resignation. And for that, they’re number one.