There are several US citizens who deserved to be President but never were. At the top of my list is Henry Clay. He settled in Kentucky and his home has become a National Historic Landmark in Lexington that Ruth and I have visited. It is called Ashland and is worth seeing. Ashland contains a museum devoted to Clay and is now an 18 room mansion that was suitable for a man with 11 children to raise. Clay promoted the abolishment of slavery in his adopted state. Clay was born in Virginia like many other politicians of his era.
But he was never elected President despite being the most powerful member of Congress between 1806 and 1852. He was called the Great Compromiser. Three times he was elected Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House only twice and was the first woman who became Speaker. She served in that capacity from 2007 until 2011 and then again from 2019 until she retired in 2023. She served in the House of Representatives beginning in 1987. Pelosi visited Taiwan in 2022 and served as Secretary of State like Hilary Clinton but for President Barack Obama. Henry Clay served as Secretary of State under President John Quincy Adams and ran for President 5 times and in 1832 and 1844 he was his party’s nominee. He was the general election candidate 3 times but lost to 2 generals of lesser worth.
He created the Whig Party. Abraham Lincoln was a Whig as were 4 other Presidents: Willian Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Millard Fillmore. None of these men reached the stature of Lincoln but they were elected Presidents. The Whig Party broke up over the slavery issue and Abraham Lincoln joined the new Republican Party. The Whigs were the Democratic Party’s chief rival for almost 2 decades. Clay served as a US Senator 4 times between 1806 and and 1852. He was Speaker of the House 3 times, but he never became President himself.
I highly recommend the self-guided tour of Ashland to learn even more about Henry Clay.