According to this article which is based on this Wikipedia article

Donald Trump has never been elected to public office (a big disqualifier in American politics), never been appointed to a political office, and has no military experience. He is a businessman. We have had presidents who have had previous careers in business (e.g., Harding, Truman, both Bushes), but none who have gone straight from business to being elected President.

So, USA has a president with little previous political experience.

Emmanuel Macron has more political experience than Trump, yet his background is more about investment banking (source) rather than politics where he started to play an important role since 2012:

From 2012 to 2014, he served as deputy secretary-general of the Élysée, a senior role in President Hollande's staff. He was appointed as the Minister of Economy and Finance in the second Valls Cabinet on 26 August 2014, replacing Arnaud Montebourg. As Minister of the Economy, Macron was at the forefront of pushing through business-friendly reforms. On 17 February 2015, prime minister Manuel Valls pushed Macron's signature law package through a reluctant parliament using the special 49.3 procedure.

At the moment of writing this question, he has to face Marine Le Pen in the run-off election on May 7th, having the first chance by many polls (thus including him in list).

Going even more to the East, in Romania, a East European country, current president is Klaus Iohannis, who had rather little political experience before being elected as President (he had much more experience in local administration):

On February 20, 2013, Klaus Iohannis joined the PNL [...] (the largest opposition party)

So, he acquired a role in the "big politics" just a few years before being elected as President.

Question: Is there a tendency for presidents to be outside of "big politics" in recent years? Or am I observing only some isolated cases?

  • Obama was elected in 2008 and was only a federal Senator for a short bit before that. I won't bother going as far back as TR. – user4012 Apr 29 '17 at 23:18

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