James Carville: During the 1992 Presidential campaign there was no more popular public figure than Bill Clinton’s political operative, James Carville. He’s now considered to be one of the greatest political operatives of a generation. Yet, before he ended up on that fateful campaign in his early 40′s he was dead broke, had won only a handful of elections, and had never even been approved for a credit card. On paper, he looked like a complete failure. By not giving up he ended up in the White House.
“No one will ever accuse James Carville of taking himself seriously.”
– James Carville
Dick Cheney: This recent Vice President and businessman made his way to the White House yet managed to fail out of Yale University- not once, but twice. Former President George W. Bush joked with Cheney about this fact, stating, “So now we know -if you graduate from Yale, you become president. If you drop out, you get to be vice president.”
Winston Churchill: This Nobel Prize-winning, twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn’t always as well regarded as he is today. Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. After school he faced many years of political failures, as he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the age of 62.
Abraham Lincoln: While today he is remembered as one of the greatest leaders in the history of our nation, Lincoln’s life was filled with struggle. In his youth he went into war a captain and returned a private (if you’re not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it gets.) Lincoln didn’t stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed businesses and was defeated in numerous runs he made for public office, until finally finding success and becoming the 16th President of America, and quite an effective one at that.
Harry S. Truman: This WWI vet, Senator, Vice President and eventual President found remarkable success in his life, but not without a few missteps along the way. Truman started a store that sold silk shirts and other clothing-seemingly a success at first-only go bankrupt a few years later.