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Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 26 Presidential Losers: Benjamin Harrison and James Weaver

Benjamin Harrison and James Weaver, 1892 


Benjamin Harrison

James Weaver3

If the antepenultimate 1election of the 19th Century had been about who had the best beard, Grover Cleveland wouldn’t have stood a chance.  The two losers Harrison and Weaver could have modeled for the Smith Brothers Cough Drops label.  You wonder how their wives could find them under all that shrubbery.  The big issue in the campaign was monetary policy.  Cleveland wanted to keep us on the gold standard, whereas Harrison (Republican) and Weaver (Populist) both favored bi-metalism: basing the currency on gold and silver.  What a bunch of dummies.  As if any of that mattered.  The American dollar hasn’t been based on any metal for decades and just look how good we’re doing.  Another novelty in the election was Wyoming, where those wild and wooly ruffians – if you know anything about the people of Wyoming, you don’t need me to tell you how cuckoo-crazy they are – actually allowed women to vote.  (New Jersey’s original constitution had allowed women to vote, but the right had been rescinded in 1807.) 2  But Wyoming’s three electoral votes for Harrison couldn’t change the outcome of the election, and Cleveland swept into his second non-consecutive term as president.

Result

Grover Cleveland: 277
Benjamin Harrison: 145
James Weaver: 22

1. Look it up.
2. The men must've outnumbered the women that year.
3. Or maybe he's Benjamin Harrison.  I can't tell them apart, can you?

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