The National Party Conventions


  Cartoonist:  Edward Windsor Kemble
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   July 25, 1908, pp. 18-19

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
In this Harper’s Weekly cartoon, Democratic presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan meets his running mate, John Kern. At the 1908 Democratic National Convention, Bryan left the choice of a vice president to the delegates, who nominated Kern, a former state senator (1893-1897) from Indiana. The joke of this cartoon expresses press ridicule of the fact that both men on the ticket had suffered several electoral defeats. The New York Times scoffed that the Democratic national ticket was consistent because “a man twice defeated for the Presidency was at the head of it, and a man twice defeated for governor of his state [in 1900 and 1904] was at the tail of it.” After losing in November 1908, Kern was again disappointed when the newly elected Democratic majority in the Indiana legislature failed to select him as the state’s next U.S. senator.

The letters in the cartoon’s foreground promise support for Bryan from Tammany Hall Boss Charles F. Murphy and New York State Party Chairman William J. “Fingy” Conner of Buffalo. Fairview was the name of Bryan’s home in Lincoln, Nebraska.













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