I was watching the first episode of Madam Secretary's fifth season when this scene jumped out from my television set: a meeting between a fictitious Secretary of State of the United States and three of her real-life predecessors, if I can describe it as such. Colin Luther Powell (2001-2005), Hillary Rodham Clinton (2009-2013) and Madeleine Korbel Albright (1997-2001).
Which begats the question: in the history of the United States, how many former Secretaries of State were eventually elected to the White House as President? Answer: only six out of a long line of 69. It is a rarified membership comprising Thomas Jefferson (SS: 1790-1793) (P: 1801-1809), James Madison (SS: 1801-1809) (P: 1809-1817), James Monroe (SS: 1811-1817) (P: 1817-1825), John Quincy Adams (SS: 1817-1825) (P: 1825-1829), Martin Van Buren (SS: 1829-1831) (P: 1837-1841) and James Buchanan Jr (SS: 1845-1849) (P: 1857-1861). None of the modern-day Secretaries of State made it to the White House. Only Hillary Clinton came close.