Grover Cleveland (1884)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Apr 3 21:43:23 UTC 2004

Doug Wilson writes:
>The name Cleveland would seem to refer to Grover Cleveland, who was at the
>time a candidate for the US Presidency (he won the election narrowly). One
>of the campaign issues at this time apparently was Cleveland's supposed
>fathering and 'abandonment' of an illegitimate son (to whom he did give his
>name, apparently, although the paternity was uncertain) about ten years

Whence the Republican campaign slogan "Ma, ma, where's my pa?", to
which the Democrats responded gleefully after the election, "Gone to
the White House, ha ha ha."  The 1884 campaign also brought us the
Democrats' doggerel about "Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, the
continental liar from the state of Maine."  Talk about your sound
bites--they don't zing 'em like they used to.

I believe that was also the occasion for "Rum, romanism, and
rebellion"--from a Protestant minister's speech at a Blaine meeting
about how we Republicans would never desert Blaine, whatever his
faults, in favor of the party of rum, Romanism, and rebellion, a
comment that was later circulated by the Democrats and reputedly cost
Blaine the crucial Irish Catholic vote in N.Y.--as well as for the
Mugwumps, "a public office is a public trust" and "we love him [G.C.]
for the enemies he made".    (Some of this is a bit foggy--I did a
paper on G.C. in high school, but that was a few years ago.)


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