George H.W. Bush came in second to Ronald Reagan in 1980. As the sitting vice president, it was Mr. Bush's turn for the nomination in 1988, and he got it. Sen. Bob Dole came in second to Mr. Bush in 1988, so in 1996 it was his turn. In 2000, there was no obvious line of succession, but George W. Bush came closest as the heir to the Bush dynasty. Sen. John McCain came in second to W. in 2000. In 2008, Mr. McCain got the nomination. Mitt Romney: Second in 2008, he got his turn in 2012.