Saturday, June 30, 2012

Today -100: June 30, 1912: Of colossal impudence

The Democratic convention today was long, hot and (according to the LA Times) smelly. Also inconclusive. 14 more ballots were held today, for a total of 26. Champ Clark lost votes on each ballot after the 15th, 90 votes over the course of the day, dropping to 463½. Wilson gained 50, to 407½. 725½ are required. Gov. Harmon of Ohio (29) drops out. Clark’s people suggest that Wilson would make a good veep for Clark; Wilson’s people think not. Clark’s people also suggest another solution to the deadlock: every candidate except for Clark should withdraw.

Drama was provided by William Jennings Bryan, because that’s what he’s there for, when he asked to explain to the convention his shift from Clark to Wilson and more or less said that he will bolt the Democratic Party if its presidential candidate wins the nomination with the support of the 90 votes of the New York delegation, which he says is controlled by Wall Street and Boss Murphy, which it is, and therefore “does not represent the intelligence, the virtue, the democracy or the patriotism of the ninety men who are here”.

Part of the problem in getting a nominee is that under party rules each delegation must vote as a bloc. So the many Wilson supporters among those 90 NY delegates have to vote for Clark.

Headline of the Day -100: “William J. Bryan a Man of Colossal Impudence.”

The editor of the German Anti-Semitic Party’s newspaper has been convicted for slandering the Jewish religion and sentenced to one week in prison.

Texas Gov. Oscar Branch Colquitt is facing a primary challenger who is bringing up the large number of pardons Colquitt has issued. Colquitt responds by noting that most of those pardons were of young men who had left farms for the city and been led astray. Let’s see if you can spot what else he wants to highlight about the pardonees: “Out of the men I have pardoned some 225 of them were young white men who were serving their first terms in prison for their first offenses against the law, young white men who were without means for defense, young white men etc”.

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