Almost Presidents

Monday, February 18, 2013

Scott Farris, the author of Almost President: Men Who Lost the Race But Changed the Nation talks about candidates who have lost their bid for the presidency on this Presidents Day, and what their political legacy has been.



Scott Farris
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Comments [11]

Interesting to hear how the parties have switched their thumbnail portraits. There was a time when Democrats were the racist defenders of the status quo and most black voters were Republican!

WJB's progressive vision became FDR's platform for governance. It gives me hope that Reagan's supply-side trickle down theories will be seen to be the claptrap that they are and the middle and bottom tier earners will regain the buying power that the upper tier has been stealing over the last 50 years.

$1.50/hr in 1968 had the buying power of $26/hr in 2013. That' right, minimum wage workers in 1968 could buy MORE than the average wage worker in 2013.

Feb. 19 2013 10:19 AM
Sasha from NYC

Henry Clay ..

Feb. 18 2013 02:38 PM
Noach (Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

The caller beat me to it on W.J. Bryan!

I really appreciated what the guest said about Bryan.

A completely false (and, I would argue, inherently contradictory) dichotomy has been created in the way our political system has been aligned, in which economic Darwinism has been married to cultural/religious conservatism.

This is was a theme that Jay Diamond, the outspoken, controversial, former prominent NYC radio commentator, often spoke about.

After noting that "One nation under G-d" was added to the pledge of alleigance during the Cold War, "in order to distinguish us from the G-dless Communists", Diamond asked, "What about the G-dless Capitalists?" (And I would put "capitalist" in quotes; would be unrecognizable to Adam Smith...)

Diamond noted that the "free-market" Cato Institute and their ilk were some of the most vehement atheists.

Feb. 18 2013 11:09 AM

Sad...more people are familiar with Andrew Dice Clay than Henry Clay. Great story Brian.

Feb. 18 2013 10:59 AM
Eddy from Chicago, IL

Earl Warren never ran for president, but as Governor of California and vice-presidential candidate and of course Chief Justice, set a standard for progressive Republicanism (yes, that really happened) changed so much... he might have even kickstarted a national health care program had his proposals (pre-Truman's!) in California hadn't been squashed by doctors and ad folk. Republicans should take a page from his agile mind and run to the left of the Democrats (which wouldn't be hard to do at this point).

Feb. 18 2013 10:56 AM
Noach (Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

What about William Jennings Bryan? (One of my write-ins in the 2010 election, along with Chuck Hagel, Dorothea Dix, Bernie Sanders and others)

Would you describe him as a cultural conservative/ economic progressive?

Feb. 18 2013 10:53 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Lyndon Johnson has to be considered a special case, no?

Feb. 18 2013 10:51 AM
John A.

Hubert Humphrey. To save us from Nixon. Oops.

Feb. 18 2013 10:51 AM
Bob from Pelham, NY

George McGovern's 49 state loss led to the best post-election bumper sticker of all time: "Don't Blame Me; I'm From Massachusetts".

Feb. 18 2013 10:51 AM
Amy from Manhattan

1. George McGovern only carried 1 state, but don't forget he also carried the DC vote. (I remember bumper stickers after the election that said, "Don't blame me, I'm from DC!")

2. The Doonesbury character's name was Rick Red*fern*.

Feb. 18 2013 10:50 AM

Many also-rans were New Yorkers. Nelson Rockefeller said he could not get his party's nomination because, among other factors, he was a New Yorker.

Feb. 18 2013 10:44 AM

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