Grover Cleveland (1884)

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Sun Apr 4 20:29:31 UTC 2004

Laurence Horn wrote:
>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.)

It accords with my vague memories from the high school paper I did on
dirty presidential campaigns.

Alice Faber                                             faber at
Haskins Laboratories                                  tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                                     fax (203) 865-8963

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