Taft and Bryan Compared


 “While You Are Answering Questions Will You Answer This?”
  Cartoonist:  Grant Hamilton
  Source:  Judge
  Date:  October 17, 1908

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
It is not surprising that this cartoon from the Republican humor magazine, Judge, comes down decisively on the side of William Howard Taft. The GOP presidential nominee points out that his Democratic challenger, William Jennings Bryan, left no legislative record of note during his two terms in Congress. Democrats had a majority in the House during the Nebraskan’s first term (1891-1893) and controlled both chambers of Congress and the presidency, under Grover Cleveland, during his second term (1893-1895). Cartoonist Grant Hamilton wonders why voters should expect Bryan to show more effective leadership as president. Most voters viewing this cartoon would also have known that Republicans held and were likely to retain control of both houses of Congress in 1908. The cartoon’s ball-and-chain suggests that Charles Evans Hughes linked Bryan’s weak legislative record and potential incompetence in the White House while the New York governor was campaigning for the Republican national ticket in Ohio.













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