Butler and Blaine


 “Swinging Round the Circle for Votes”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   October 4, 1884, p. 661

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
A precursor to "Glorying In Their Shame," this Thomas Nast cartoon uses the common circus metaphor for politics, and depicts Greenback-Labor nominee Benjamin Butler as a clown, distracting attention from Republican nominee James Blaine. Unlike most 19th-century presidential nominees, Blaine and Butler campaigned actively for votes. “Swinging round the circle” compares them to President Andrew Johnson, who went on a disastrous campaign speaking tour before the Congressional elections of 1866. In 1884, Blaine and Butler were covering the same ground as they sought the votes of the working class by emphasizing tariff protection.












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