The Dewey Presidential Boom and Bust


 “Jack Ashore”
  Cartoonist:  Udo J. Keppler
  Source:  Puck
  Date:  May 2, 1900

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
On April 3, 1900, Admiral George Dewey announced in a New York World interview his availability for nomination as president, but declined to identify his party affiliation or what his platform would be. While Dewey shut himself off from the press for a few days, his brother stated that the admiral was a Democrat, which contradicted his nephew’s remark that he was a Republican. The New York Tribune acidly commented: “No party. No platform. Just Dewey.” On April 6, the new presidential candidate grudgingly told a World reporter, “All right, I will answer that question. I am a Democrat.” However, he refused further elaboration.

Dewey is seen here as a sailor (“Jack”) on shore leave sauntering past both Republican and Democratic drinking establishments. Dewey/Jack is escorted by John R. McLean (left), his brother-in-law and publisher of the Cincinnati Enquirer, and Joseph Pulitzer (right), publisher of the New York World. The two Democratic publishers were promoting the admiral’s candidacy. Although cartoonist Udo Keppler favored Richard Olney for the presidential nomination, this image indicates how Dewey fit Puck’s profile of a candidate who supported the gold standard and tariff reform (two positions he had finally revealed to the press). Both the free silver and high tariff saloons are defined as museum relics of their respective parties.













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