America's most eligible bachelor was not a TV contestant

the bachelor president james buchanan origwx bw_00000404
the bachelor president james buchanan origwx bw_00000404

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    For Pres. James Buchanan, it was all about the journey

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For Pres. James Buchanan, it was all about the journey 01:58

(CNN)The most eligible bachelor in American history wasn't a reality TV contestant. It was President James Buchanan, the nation's 15th president and the only lifelong bachelor to hold the keys to America's ultimate fantasy suite: The White House.

For Buchanan, it was all about the journey. After a broken engagement and the death of his former fiancee, Buchanan decided to run for national office. He was elected to the House of Representatives five times and served as a senator for a decade before receiving the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 1856, defeating incumbent President Franklin Pierce for the nomination. He was awarded the general election rose and served one term.
During his career in politics, Buchanan was tied to a number of different women, but also to Senator and eventual Vice President William Rufus King.
    "They were always kind of with each other around town. They shared a house," said Patrick Clarke, director of James Buchanan's Wheatland.
    To this day, rumors of a romantic relationship between the men persist, although no solid evidence has ever surfaced, according to Clarke.
    But Buchanan's enemies were not in politics to make friends.
    "Andrew Jackson picks on Rufus King by calling him 'Mrs. Buchanan,'" Clarke said.
    But Buchanan, like the contestants on "The Bachelor" reality TV franchise, was in politics for all the right reasons. In fact, his allies spun his bachelorhood as a plus.
    "The Democratic Party was painting a more encouraging picture: Here's this bachelor. He has the time to focus on our problems as a nation," Clarke said.
    Watch the video above for the full story on America's original celebrity bachelor.