Sunday, June 23, 2013

Today in POTUStory

On the first ballot, the Democratic National Convention renominated former President Stephen Grover Cleveland in 1892. New York Governor Cleveland won the 1884 presidential election with only a plurality of the popular vote against James G. Blaine. President Cleveland won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College to Benjamin Harrison, grandson of William Henry Harrison, the 9th POTUS, in his reelection bid. Four years later in 1892, a rematch between the 1888 candidates, but now it was President Harrison versus former President Cleveland.

This was the first time a major political party had renominated a former president. Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, and Theodore Roosevelt were nominated for president by third parties with MVB getting 10% of the popular vote and that's it. Fillmore carried one State, whereas TR was the first and last third party candidate to come in second, but not the last to carry States. The Republican Party came close to renominating Ulysses S. Grant for a third time, non-consecutively, but the nomination went to dark horse nominee James A. Garfield.

Former President Cleveland would once again win a plurality of the popular vote with 46%, 2% less than his 1884 and 1888 popular vote wins. He and Adlai E. Stevenson would win the General Election, the only time a former president defeated an incumbent. Stevenson would become the 23rd VPOTUS. Cleveland's second term would be labeled as a second presidency, so he would not just be the 22nd POTUS but the 24th POTUS as well.

This gay 1890s ticket of Illinois' Adlai E. Stevenson and Grover Cleveland in 1892.

A ticket to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, 1892. The ticket is for the 21st of June and 2 days later, Cleveland was renominated a third time by the Democratic Party, or for divisive politicos, the Democrat Party.