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View Poll Results: Who do you vote for as President in 1884?
Grover Cleveland 7 77.78%
James G. Blaine 2 22.22%
Other (specify) 0 0%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 26th, 2018, 05:06 PM   #21

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Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
I will comment that Cleveland's fiscal conservatism extending to giving the middle finger to farmers affected by drought doesn't particularly impress me. Additionally, on his vetoes of pensions for veterans, no doubt the GAR was pushing a bit far, but it really seems like that should have been an issue it was possible to find a compromise on.
How exactly did the GAR push too far?
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Old June 26th, 2018, 05:22 PM   #22

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Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
How exactly did the GAR push too far?
I should probably have clarified that wasn't a personal view of the merits, just within the political climate of the day; pushing for disability pensions regardless of whether the disability was connected to their service or their financial situation seems to have given Cleveland some of the political ammo needed to veto it.
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Old June 26th, 2018, 05:29 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Emperor of Wurttemburg 43 View Post
The resume comparison is very lopsided here. But hey Cleveland had more executive experience and I know there's a popular belief among some governors make the best presidents, but even then Cleveland has little of that experience.

Blaine
US Secretary of State 1881
US Senator 1876-1881
Speaker of the House 1869-1875
US Representative 1862-1875

Cleveland
Governor, New York 1883-1885
Mayor,Buffalo 1882
Sheriff, Erie County 1871-1873

I do agree that the nature of US politics makes it difficult to decipher a President's effectiveness.

Arthur it's tricky because no VP who'd been made President had ever received their party's nomination before and Arthur who even today might still be the least qualified President in US History depending on how you look at it had alienated both the people who had gotten him the Vice Presidency and the people whose side he had betrayed them for didn't trust him and would prefer their patron Blaine who was going for President for the third straight time.
I would not say that it is lopsided at all. President Cleveland's experience puts him in direct contact with all 3 branches of government, compared to Blaine's 1. If anything, they are equally qualified for the position, but in no way is SOS Blaine more qualified. You left out his experience as a lawyer, indeed, the District Attorney of Erie County.

The nature of history makes saying one President was better than another a nigh impossible task.

President Arthur was definitely qualified for the position. In fact, with the election of President Trump there really are no qualifications for the Presidency any more, outside of being an American citizen. Even Candidate Trump had some qualifications depending on how you look at it. President Arthur did lose supporters at the Republican Convention to Blaine, but members of Arthur's camp still supported him even if Blaine was their 2nd choice for the nomination. SOS Blaine lost the first three ballots because there was such strong support for Arthur.

He, himself, did not try as vehemently as he might have to seek reelection. I firmly believe this was because the health signs were too foreboding at the time of the election.
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Old June 26th, 2018, 05:42 PM   #24

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Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
I should probably have clarified that wasn't a personal view of the merits, just within the political climate of the day; pushing for disability pensions regardless of whether the disability was connected to their service or their financial situation seems to have given Cleveland some of the political ammo needed to veto it.
Oh; OK. So it was a political blunder but not necessarily a bad position to take in the moral sense.

Also, for what it's worth, I apologize for not commenting more on various threads. However, sometimes I feel that it is best for me to read what other people write and to remain relatively quiet myself since I sometimes have little to add to what was already said.
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Old June 26th, 2018, 05:59 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by PrivateInThePotomac View Post
I would not say that it is lopsided at all. President Cleveland's experience puts him in direct contact with all 3 branches of government, compared to Blaine's 1. If anything, they are equally qualified for the position, but in no way is SOS Blaine more qualified. You left out his experience as a lawyer, indeed, the District Attorney of Erie County.

The nature of history makes saying one President was better than another a nigh impossible task.

President Arthur was definitely qualified for the position. In fact, with the election of President Trump there really are no qualifications for the Presidency any more, outside of being an American citizen. Even Candidate Trump had some qualifications depending on how you look at it. President Arthur did lose supporters at the Republican Convention to Blaine, but members of Arthur's camp still supported him even if Blaine was their 2nd choice for the nomination. SOS Blaine lost the first three ballots because there was such strong support for Arthur.

He, himself, did not try as vehemently as he might have to seek reelection. I firmly believe this was because the health signs were too foreboding at the time of the election.
I know technically there's no qualifications beyond being 35 and a US citizen but in practice there's standards for being qualified and not. It's like every Catholic being eligible to be Pope but only a cardinal is going to be realistically elected. You have an interesting perspective on analyzing the experience of these two.

Arthur was the only President in US History prior to recent times who was not elected(or even attempted to run) to anything before being put on the Presidential ticket as VP. Not attacking him or saying he was a bad President(his positive traits probably had something to do with him losing), Lincoln is at the bottom of the list too but his resume was the worst of the Presidents by a very large margin. His highest position was the patronage job of Collector of the Port of New York.

Blaine did beat Arthur the first three ballots(I know what you meant but feel that can be misinterpreted) he just didn't get a majority needed and Blaine hadn't been able to do this in 1876 for six ballots either as the front runner and the second place candidates on these ballots were not made the nominee, President Hayes was(second choice rarely won the nomination if front runner couldn't, they usually went in another direction). After 1876 and 1880 it was well established they'd be severe resistance to Blaine getting nominated and Stalwarts choosing Arthur over Blaine is quite understandable. Could Arthur been nominated without the illness? Maybe but no VP had been able to get their party's nomination after being elected and hard to see him getting it done.
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Old June 26th, 2018, 06:20 PM   #26

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
I will comment that Cleveland's fiscal conservatism extending to giving the middle finger to farmers affected by drought doesn't particularly impress me. Additionally, on his vetoes of pensions for veterans, no doubt the GAR was pushing a bit far, but it really seems like that should have been an issue it was possible to find a compromise on.
I think the pension issue was more relevant in 1888, and it was largely what Harrison campaigned on (that, and tariffs). I've not come across it coming up in 1884.

As for the drought-afflicted farmers, were the Republicans really much different in their ability to effectively respond to this issue, at least until Progressives like TR came along? The Democrat (in repudiation of New York Bourbon Democrats such as Tilden or Grover) Bryan, of course, made this one of the major issues of his campaigns in 1896 and 1900.

Last edited by nuclearguy165; June 26th, 2018 at 06:33 PM.
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Old June 26th, 2018, 06:32 PM   #27

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Originally Posted by nuclearguy165 View Post
I think the pension issue was more relevant in 1888, and it was largely what Harrison campaigned on (that, and tariffs). I've not come across it coming up in 1884.

As for the drought-afflicted farmers, were the Republicans really much different in their ability to effectively respond to this issue, at least until Progressives like TR came along? The Democrat (although not one of the New York Bourbon Democrats like Tilden or Grover) Bryan, of course, made this one of the major issues of his campaigns in 1896 and 1900.
You are right that I'm skipping ahead here, just considering what Cleveland did during his actual Presidency. And also right that Bourbon Democrats and mainline Republicans were pretty similar about, well, not just farm workers, both were very anti-labor in general.
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Old June 27th, 2018, 10:48 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Emperor of Wurttemburg 43 View Post
I know technically there's no qualifications beyond being 35 and a US citizen but in practice there's standards for being qualified and not. It's like every Catholic being eligible to be Pope but only a cardinal is going to be realistically elected. You have an interesting perspective on analyzing the experience of these two.

Arthur was the only President in US History prior to recent times who was not elected(or even attempted to run) to anything before being put on the Presidential ticket as VP. Not attacking him or saying he was a bad President(his positive traits probably had something to do with him losing), Lincoln is at the bottom of the list too but his resume was the worst of the Presidents by a very large margin. His highest position was the patronage job of Collector of the Port of New York.

Blaine did beat Arthur the first three ballots(I know what you meant but feel that can be misinterpreted) he just didn't get a majority needed and Blaine hadn't been able to do this in 1876 for six ballots either as the front runner and the second place candidates on these ballots were not made the nominee, President Hayes was(second choice rarely won the nomination if front runner couldn't, they usually went in another direction). After 1876 and 1880 it was well established they'd be severe resistance to Blaine getting nominated and Stalwarts choosing Arthur over Blaine is quite understandable. Could Arthur been nominated without the illness? Maybe but no VP had been able to get their party's nomination after being elected and hard to see him getting it done.
I know you probably knew that already. I was merely pointing out that when evaluating a Presidential election, after 2016, it becomes difficult to say one candidate is any more or less better for the job. "Only one cardinal is going to be realistically elected".....until one isn't. The thing about elections is that the electorate can use whatever they want to decide whom they feel is better for the job.

True, President Arthur had no prior experience campaigning, but he did have many appointments to positions that gave him experience. Okay the way you are evaluating resumes lacks something. If nothing else, President Lincoln proves (by your own point) that regardless of your resume you can be a good (even great) President. True, technically that was Arthur's highest position prior to be elected Vice President. Although, President Hayes did offer him plenty of positions, that would have been considered higher than that, that he declined (regardless of the true nature of such offers).

Yes, Blaine did not get the majority required is of course what I meant. I merely mean that delegates from President Arthur's camp were part of the coalition that eventually won the Secretary the Republican nomination. Even if it was only "stalwarts" that kept Blaine from taking the nomination on the first ballot, Arthur still had a sizable portion of "stalwarts". Given the support Arthur had, it was more likely he had more than just "stalwart" support and I would say, without his ailments, would have been very likely to secure the nomination and I do not think it is hard to come to that conclusion at all. I will yield that Arthur probably still would have ended up losing the nomination, but I think his showing would have been even stronger without the illness.
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Old July 1st, 2018, 08:47 AM   #29

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I'll give an extremely unenthusiastic vote for Cleveland here; I don't think he was a particularly good President, but he certainly wasn't corrupt. That and his reasonably principled stand against the annexation of Hawaii win him my vote here.
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Old July 12th, 2018, 07:01 PM   #30
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I think President Cleveland was exceptional. President Cleveland opted not to involve the U.S. in any unnecessary military conflicts. As was the case during Cuba's skirmishes with Spain in his 2nd term. Not to mention, being able to come back 1 term later and defeat the person that ousted you, I think that says something about what kind of President he was.
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