Full Credits

Stats & Data

April 20, 2016

a history of Ohio Presidents

Hang in there John,
I know it seems like you’re depleting your campaign funds for a losing cause. In fact, pundits, pollsters and mathematicians alike say the possibility of you winning is, to be generous, slim. They say it would be close to impossible for you to get the Republican nomination: considering the fact that unless you can get them to change the rules, you will need to win 128% of the remaining delegates and the primaries of half of the remaining states. But hang on Sloopy, O-H-I-O Pride could pay off in the end.
Although you were born in in McKee’s Rock, PA, by now, Governor, for better or worse, most of us Ohioans call you one of our own. After all, you graduated from the Ohio State University, which in itself carries a huge amount of respect here in Central Ohio. And aside from a handful of sports figures, and that Goosebumps guy, you’re probably tied with Les Wexner as their second most famous alumnae. Right behind Jeffery Dahmer.
We would claim you just as Indiana does Ohioan Benjamin Harrison. We would, just as Illinois calls itself the “Land of Lincoln”(despite the fact that Lincoln was Kentucky born), call you Buckeye John Kasich. If elected, we would crown you Ohio’s ninth President.
But to join this exclusive club of the scandal ridden and short lived,there are some lessons to be learned from the other eight Ohio presidents .

First off get a good front porch. Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley,James A. Garfield and Warren G. Harding all won with successful front porch campaigns. Taking a lead from Washington, in an attempt to appear above the fray, candidates would actually sit out the campaign on their front porches. They would hold an occasional rally, have a local choir sing, deliver a few words of hope. All the while, their party machines and supporters did all the dirty work (not a lot unlike today’s superpac strategy).
Once you get around the zoning issues, John, you could build a porch that would be the envy of all of Westerville. And imagine the future tourism potential. It’s been 95 years since the last Ohio President,and 95 years since the last front porch campaign. Coincidence?

I’ve seen Harding’s porch in Marion., the home of the last Ohio President.Famously called “a man who never had an original idea”, Harding built a cottage in his front lawn with a porch modeled to resemble McKinley’s. It served as the war room for his successful “return to normalcy” campaign

Not unlike 2016, Harding’s campaign of 1920 was far from a cakewalk.Considered an “also-ran” it took ten ballots in a smoke filled room for him to get the Republican nomination. Of course his mostly forgotten administration only brings to mind oil scandals and salacious extramarital affairs.
He did, however, appoint four Supreme court justices, which I’m sure went over well with the party faithful.

Harding’s architectural muse, McKinley, also found ways to endear himself to the party (before he was assassinated at the hands of a rogue anarchist). Namely, in 1988 he invaded Cuba. He also, at the behest of the party, brought on New Yorker Teddy Roosevelt, a bit of a mixed blessing,. This is another lesson you should take away: Be careful who you run with.
Roosevelt would go on to form the Bull Moose party after being rejected by the Republicans at the 1912 convention (essentially handing the election to Woodrow Wilson and thwarting Ohioan William Howard Taft’s attempt at a second term). This defeat, and his 340 pound frame-that no front porch could support, are what Taft is most remembered for.
Although he did manage to stack the court with a record six Supreme Court justices. Taft loved the court he created so much, he later got Harding to appoint him Chief Justice.

So if you want to learn from Ohio Presidents, you need to learn the lessons of nepotism and party favoritism. Republican party favoritism.
In fact John, just like you, all of the Ohio Presidents have been Republicans.
Well, all but William Henry Harrison- the Whig: His lack of common sense and abundance of born-in-a-log-cabin machismo led to his imminent demise. For two hours, Harrison gave the longest inaugural address in history, nearly 8,500 words; in the cold wet March of 1841, where he reportedly caught a fatal cold. All the opium, leeches and Virginia Snakeweed in the world couldn’t save “ Ole Tippecanoe”. He died of pneumonia 30 days, 12 hours and 30 minutes after he took the oath of office.
He was covered on the nepotism front though. His grandson, Benjamin Harrison, became the 23rd U.S.President, famous for bringing the federal deficit into ten figures for the first time. And not much else.

Another Ohio President with a lesson to teach is Rutherford B. Hayes. Hayes lost the popular vote, but was able to subvert the will of the people through the compromise of 1887. A Congressional commission awarded him twenty contested electoral votes under the stipulation that he pull all Federal troops from the South. This essentially ended reconstruction and resulted in 94 years of Jim Crow.
His predecessor, Ohioan Ulysses S. Grant, was elected much easier. Being the guy who won the civil war, he was unanimously nominated at the 1868 convention, but still lost New York in the general election to Democrat, Horatio Seymour (despite the fact that the sitting Democratic President, Andrew Johnson, had recently been impeached for“high crimes and misdemeanors”).
Talk about your political patronage, there was so much nepotism and cronyism in Grant’s administration, that at the time is was simply called “Grantism”.
Grant’s administration was rife with scandal. Before his first year was over,his presidency was being dubbed “The Era of Gold Stealings”.Besides fixing the price of gold and causing the panic of 1869, in Grant’s first term he was accused of misappropriating funds from the New York Customs house and the U.S. Post Office.
Despite this, he was again unanimously nominated by the party again in 1872 and easily won his reelection. The fact that his Democratic opponent,Horace “Go West Young Man” Greely died before the meeting of the electoral college didn’t hurt.
On March 3rd,1873, the day before his 2nd term inauguration, Grant doubled the Presidential salary. By September,the Panic of 1873 would send the country into a six year depression.
In eight years of Grantism, corruption was found in the departments of Treasury, State, Navy, Justice, Interior, War and the Post Office. I guess the lesson here is: win the Civil War and you can do just about anything you want.

Well just about anything. After the unpopular “Rutherfraud” Hayes administration, Grant took a third shot at the republican nomination.And here is the lesson we all know you’re planning to take to Cleveland against the Cruzers and the rioting Trumpeteers.
In the 1880 convention, Grant and his political machine went into Chicago with an electorate split between Grant’s “Stalwarts” and former Secretary of State (under Benjamin Harrison) , James G.Blaine. Blaine’s “Half -Breeds” were running on a platform of really nothing more than Anti-Grantism. Amidst the attacks between the two factions, James A. Garfield stood up, initially to nominate John Sherman (brother of another Ohio war hero William Tecumseh Sherman), and gave a pacifying speech of populism and equal opportunity. He finished to chants from the electorates of “We Want Garfield !” .
After 36 ballots, and a few backroom deals that put New York Customs House lackey, Chester Alan Arthur in the running mate slot, Garfield got the Republican nomination.
He sat out his winning election on his front porch.
Unfortunately,shorty after their arrival in the mosquito-ridden swamp of 1881 Washington, Garfield’s wife, Lucretia, came down with malaria. She was still convalescing in a New Jersey seaside resort when her husband was shot on July 2.
Garfield spent eleven weeks under the “care” of his old friend Dr. Willard Bliss, who refuted the new science of antiseptics, and believed that green puss was a sign of healing . Garfield died on September 19,1881 at the age of 49.

So I guess John, aside from the front porch, the real lesson here is: if you’re going to get shot anyway, make sure you have access to a good,scientifically- minded health care provider .