The Shitty 1872 Candidacies of David Davis (Illinois), Joel Parker (New Jersey), and Charles O’Conor (New York), Labor Reform Party. Sorta.
Quick Bios: Really quick cuz there’s three of them: David Davis was a fairly enormous man, a lawyer, and a bodyguard for Lincoln during the Civil War. Coincidentally, Lincoln nominated Davis for the Supreme Court, where he served until being elected Senator of Illinois (one of only a few folk to quit the SCOTUS and work for another branch). Joel Parker, a hairy gent lacking only a mustache, was a lawyer and got elected twice as Governor of New Jersey, including the months leading up to the 1872 Presidential Election. Charles O’Conor, a grim neck-bearded fellow, was a South-sympathizer during the Civil War. He was, you guessed it, a lawyer; among his many famous cases was his turn as Jefferson Davis’ senior counsel during the Confederate leader’s indictment for treason. Read More
The Shitty 1896, 1904, and 1908 Candidacies of Thomas E. Watson, People’s Party, Georgia.
Quick Bio: Born five years before the Civil War, Watson was, like over half of U.S. Presidents, a lawyer. He was a Democrat, no surprise as he was from the postbellum South, and served under their banner in the Georgia Legislature and then the U.S. House. During his congressional tenure, Watson felt Democratic policies disenfranchised rural families and especially black people, so he joined the upstart People’s Party. The Populists, as they called themselves, were more open-minded and strongly advocated for giving power to the people, regardless of class or race. Read More
The Shitty 1852 Candidacy of Daniel Webster, Know-Nothing Party, Massachusetts.
Quick Bio: Born a British subject in the New Hampshire colony in 1772, Daniel Webster was a lifelong American statesman. Like many politicians (and over half of U.S. Presidents), he was a lawyer, arguing cases as high as the Supreme Court. He negotiated the treaty that established the border between the USA and Canada, and served in both houses of Congress (representing, at various times, New Hampshire and Massachusetts). He was Secretary of State under three Presidents (Harrison, Tyler, and Fillmore) and ran for the White House three times himself. The first two times, he even knew about it. Read More
The Shitty 1912 Candidacy of William Howard Taft, R., OH.
Quick Bio: The 27th President, 1909-13, and later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Taft is the only POTUS to have also filled a role on the SCOTUS. He also filled some large clothes as the heaviest President (he maxed at 335 lbs.). A Cincinnati native, a Yale legacy, and a Skull and Bones member, Taft studied law and managed to be appointed as a Superior Court judge by age 29. He was later Governor-General of the Philippines and repeatedly turned down nominations for the Supreme Court (until finally accepting the Chief Justice position in his autumn years). Taft is the only incumbent President whose reelection bid resulted in finishing not first, or second, but third. William met his future wife Helen at a bobsledding party, because don’t we all, and enjoyed a 46-year marriage with three children. Read More