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After losing the 2008 election to Barack Obama, John McCain returned to the U.S. Senate. After narrowly surviving a GOP primary in 2010, McCain defeated Democrat Rodney Glassman to earn a fifth term in the U.S. Senate. He is the 16 th most senior member and the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
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Al Gore eventually conceded defeat to George W. Bush in 2000 after the Supreme Court ruled a recount of votes in Florida as unconstitutional. It was the only time in U.S. history that the Supreme Court decided the outcome of a presidential election. Gore spends his time as an environmental activist and his numerous projects have earned him a Grammy, Academy Award and the Nobel Peace Prize.
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Bob Dole was defeated by incumbent Bill Clinton in the 1996 presidential election. Dole currently works as a consultant and continues to make television and public speaking appearances. In 2007, he was co-chair of a commission to investigate problems at the Walter Reed Medical Army Center. He has appeared in commercials for Visa, Viagra and Pepsi.
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After losing the 1988 presidential election to George H.W. Bush, Michael Dukakis returned to Massachusetts and finished his term as governor until he retired in 1991. He went on to teach public policy at Boston's Northeastern University, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the University of Hawaii and the University of California at Los Angeles.
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Walter Mondale failed in his 1984 presidential bid to unseat Republican President Ronald Regan. After the election, Mondale joined a Minnesota law firm and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. President Bill Clinton appointed Mondale as U.S. Ambassador to Japan in 1993. In 2002, after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash 11 days before the Nov. 5 election, Mondale replaced him on the ballot. Mondale ended up losing to Republican Norm Coleman. Mondale continues to work with the law firm Dorsey and Whitney in Minnesota.
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As the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972, George McGovern failed to unseat incumbent Richard Nixon. He returned to the U.S. Senate after his presidential campaign, leaving the daily foray of politics after losing his 1980 bid for a fourth Senate term. McGovern was appointed the first UN Global Ambassador on World Hunger by the World Food Program in 2001. He continued to be involved in issues related to agriculture, food, nutrition and hunger. He died at the age of 90 on Oct. 21, 2012.