Much has been made about the fact that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has remained in the public eye for a quarter century.
Many of her closest allies — and a few of her fiercest antagonists — have followed similarly storied paths through modern political history.
A brief recap of what key figures in this presidential contest were up to the first time a Clinton appeared at the top of a presidential ticket.
Joseph R. Biden Jr.
1992 : The career politician was already in his fourth term in the Senate, having survived the loss of his first wife and daughter in a car accident, a failed presidential bid (1988) and a bout with a near-fatal aneurysm.
1992: The five-term governor of Arkansas was crisscrossing the country trying to convince voters that the ongoing recession (“It’s the economy, stupid!”) meant it was time fresh blood in the Oval Office. He would go on to defeat incumbent Republican President George H. W. Bush, securing his spot as the 42nd president of the United States.
2016: During his eighth prime time address at a Democratic convention — a streak dating back to 1988 — the former president trumpeted his wife’s resilience, political savvy and passion for public service.
1992: Appearing on NBC’s “Today Show,” the Yale-educated lawyer cum political spouse plays down expectations of serving in any official capacity in husband Bill’s prospective administration — “I’m not interested in any kind of paid position or cabinet position,” she told Katie Couric — but does highlight her experience advancing various policy priorities (children’s issues, health care, public education) while in the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion.
2016: The former first lady/junior senator from New York/secretary of state becomes the first female presidential nominee put forward by a major political party.
1992: The combative Georgia Republican had already helped topple Democratic Speaker Jim Wright and quickly developed a taste for authority as House Minority Whip. He was still months away from unveiling his definitive power play, the “Contract with America.”
2016: The former speaker/architect of the divisive impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton became a Republican presidential hopeful in 2012 and actively campaigned until just a few weeks ago to become Trump’s vice presidential pick.
1992: The Palmetto State native graduated from the University of South Carolina Law School three years earlier. He was working at a prominent law firm.
2016: The third-term lawmaker/tea party favorite devoted the past two years of his life to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. An inconclusive 800-page report drew fire from all sides.
1992: The Army veteran turned businessman was reaping the rewards of his iconic car alarm (“Viper”).
2016: The eight-term lawmaker and former chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform spearheaded a congressional investigation into Hillary Clinton’s involvement in Benghazi. He continues to hammer the former cabinet secretary about her private email server.
1992: The Harvard Law grad was splitting his time between teaching legal ethics at the University of Richmond law school and litigating cases concerning housing issues and disability-based discrimination. He was still two years away from entering public life on the Richmond City Council.
2016: The former governor of Virginia and the Democratic National Committee chairman, and the current junior senator from Virginia Wednesday accepted the nomination to be the Democrat’s vice presidential candidate.
1992: The former chief executive of Jefferson County was well into his second term in the Senate.
2016: The six-term lawmaker failed to make Obama a “one-term president” (the goal he laid out in 2010) but he did become Senate majority leader in 2014 after Republicans reclaimed control of the chamber.
1992: One year out of Harvard Law School, the Hawaiian native was pursuing teaching opportunities (constitutional law) in Chicago.
2016: The former community organizer and junior senator from Illinois, and the first black president in U.S. history Wednesday heaped praise on Democratic presidential nominee: “There has never been a man or woman more qualified — not Bill, not me, not anyone — than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America,” 44 assured the nation . She unsuccessfully challenged him for the Democratic nomination in 2008 and later served in his administration.
1992 : Following two unsuccessful congressional bids (1988, 1990), Pence put politics on the back burner and presided over the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, a conservative think tank.
2016: The former six-term House lawmaker and current governor of Indiana on July 20 accepted the nomination to be the Republican vice presidential candidate
1992 : The two-term House lawmaker was finishing up his first term in the Senate and facing re-election.
2016: The retiring Nevada Democrat on Wednesday chastised Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for lining up behind “hateful con man Donald Trump.”
Paul D. Ryan
1992: The 20-something Wisconsin native had just earned a political science degree from Miami University in Ohio.
2016: The 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee has continued to climb the ranks on Capitol Hill, reluctantly accepting the role of speaker in late 2015 after conservative hardliners rebelled against embattled leader John A. Boehner.
1992: Following his four-term stint as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, the unapologetic socialist unsuccessfully ran for Congress once (1988) before clinching the state’s lone House seat the following election cycle.
2016: The junior senator from Vermont challenged Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to the very end, sparking a populist revolution that threatened to derail the Democratic convention and forced DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz from power.
1992: The real estate scion had sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for two struggling Atlantic City ventures, made a cameo appearance (as himself, of course) in “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” and had filed a lawsuit against his former wife, Ivana, for violating a gag clause in their divorce settlement.
2016: The political newcomer soundly defeats 16 GOP challengers during a bruising primary. He became the party’s official standard-bearer July 21 in Cleveland.