Cleve and Steve: The Democratic Ticket


 “The Democratic Jonah Jumps into the Whale’s Belly”
  Cartoonist:  Bernhard Gillam
  Source:  Judge
  Date:   July 23, 1892, p. 49

Click to see a large version of this cartoon...

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
After opposing Grover Cleveland for years and supporting Senator David B. Hill of New York for the 1892 Democratic presidential nomination, New York Sun owner and editor Charles Dana endorsed Cleveland after the Democratic National Convention in late June. Here, in a scene loosely based on the biblical story, Dana is depicted as a Democratic Jonah entering the belly of the Cleveland whale. Likely trouble ahead for the new Dana-Cleveland relationship is conveyed by the choppy waves, the dark tone and gaping maw of the Cleveland whale, the high cliff from which Dana jumps, and the large knife the editor grips.

Dana had been a Republican until joining the Liberal bolt against President Ulysses S. Grant in the 1872 election. Four years later, Dana and the Sun backed Democrat Samuel J. Tilden for president, but in 1884 rejected Democrat Cleveland in favor of Greenback-Labor nominee Benjamin Butler. In 1888, Dana grudgingly endorsed Cleveland for reelection, while complaining about his first presidential term. In 1892, the Sun editor unsuccessfully tried to wreck Cleveland’s renomination, ridiculing the ex-president as “the Stuffed Prophet” and “the elephantine economist.” This cartoon picked up the theme of lampooning Cleveland’s weight by presenting him as a whale. At 250 pounds, he was the heaviest president until William Howard Taft (1909-1913).













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