"If I don’t improve, I’m going to pass a law that no one can ask me my golf score." — Dwight D. Eisenhower
The May 26, 1860, edition of Harper’s Weekly, with a story on the new Republican Party presidential nominee, Abraham Lincoln.
The national convention had opened on May 16 in Chicago, a plus for the Illinois-raised Lincoln, but the frontrunner was William Seward of New York. Seward, however, had weakened his chances among moderate Republicans with his former antislavery radicalism. Lincoln’s less-adamant position—opposing only the extension of slavery into the territories—was viewed as giving him strength in the “battleground” states of the lower North, which the Republicans had lost in the 1856 election. There were 465 delegates packed into the Chicago convention hall. Seward won on the first two ballots, with Lincoln coming in second. On the third ballot, four Ohioans switched their votes to Lincoln, followed by a wild stampede of delegates for the “rail splitter.”Via the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
"The bear" in this iconic campaign ad from Ronald Reagan’s 1984 bid for presidential re-election represents perceived threats to national security - particularly those that might come from the Soviet Union. Without referencing his opponent, Walter Mondale, or anything specific at all, it sought to convey the idea that America under Reagan’s leadership would be better prepared for what might come.
It’s a classic in American political history; the 2004 George W. Bush ad, “Wolves” was based on “The Bear in the woods.”
Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette, Sr., Washington, D.C., 1924
Wisconsin’s Robert LaFollette championed progressivism as a congressman, governor and senator, fighting for direct election of senators, child labor laws, the minimum wage, progressive taxation and workers’ compensation, while railing against the influence of corporations in Washington and on the national economy.
Though LaFollette’s vocal opposition to US involvement in World War I led some to doubt both his loyalty and his political future, in 1924 LaFollette ran for president on the Progressive Party ticket and secured 17% of the popular vote, third after President Calvin Coolidge and the Democratic nominee, John Davis. It was a third-party showing only bested by Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 (27%) and Ross Perot in 1992 (19%).
LaFollette’s address about preserving the freedom of speech during wartime earned such raucous acclaim from his colleagues that the Senate had to be gaveled back into order.
Video found via YouTube; per the original uploader, it was found on a Wisconsin Historical Society website.
"The Raven" from Puck. Perhaps the most famous anti-Harrison cartoon. Republicans seeking to exploit Benjamin’s more famous grandfather sang “Grandfather’s Hat Fits Ben.” Democratic cartoonists portrayed the 5’6” Harrison as comically short, dwarfed by his grandfather’s hat. Here William Henry Harrison’s shadow drapes Harrison, and the Blaine-Raven blocks the light. Democrats also believed that Blaine would dominate Harrison’s presidency.
Students at East Carolina College (now East Carolina University) in North Carolina with signs supporting their candidate, Lyndon Johnson, who was seeking re-election in 1964.
I don’t know of a visit by LBJ to East Carolina College, but on October 6 he visited North Carolina State University. However, the “Lady Bird Welcome” and “We’re for the Bird” signs in the front had me curious, and I found this:
Just before dawn on Tuesday, October 6, 1964, the Lady Bird Special pulled away from Track 12 at Union Station. Over the next four days, the nineteen-car train carried First Lady Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson on a whistle-stop tour of the South, covering 1,682 miles from Washington, D.C., to New Orleans. Johnson wasn’t going to be sitting quietly and smiling pleasantly while her husband did all of the talking. Instead, she was going to make speech after speech from the back of the train, telling folks in towns big and small why they should vote the Democratic ticket. Before it was over, she would make forty-seven speeches, shake hands with more than one thousand Democratic leaders, and speak before more than two hundred thousand people. It was the first time that a first lady had campaigned alone, without her spouse. Not even Eleanor Roosevelt had done it.It seems likely then that the kids were waiting for the Lady Bird Special, though I can’t find a reference to a visit. In a listing of materials at the Johnson Library, there is a reference to “East Carolina University Library, Greenville, North Carolina” with a note that “Correspondents include Lady Bird Johnson.”
Via "Lady Bird Special: Mrs. Johnson’s Southern Strategy"
So, you know, if you have a few spare hours, hop on down to the Library in Austin and check that out, if you’re so inclined.
Via East Carolina University Digital Collections, from the Daily Reflector (Greenville, N.C.) Negative Collection, Copyright Joyner Library.
Every Day is Take Your Dog to Work Day at the White House.
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Scottish Terrier Fala being photographed at the White House. Fala’s bio.
Lyndon B. Johnson with a basket of puppies sired by his Beagle named Him. 1/5/1966.
George W. Bush exits Air Force One holding Scottish Terriers Barney and Miss Beazley.