The Republican Presidential Field


 “Judge Started It”
  Cartoonist:  Eugene Zimmerman
  Source:  Judge
  Date:  January 25, 1908

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
A few weeks before this cartoon was published, Judge had promoted Governor Charles Evans Hughes of New York for president. Here, the magazine takes credit for starting his presidential boom. The personification of Judge has rolled a snowball downhill, gaining size and momentum enough to bury all potential rivals in its path. In the background are the state capital of Albany and factories representing economic prosperity. From the sidelines, Uncle Sam looks approvingly at the Hughes snowball, while a laboring man cheers. The full dinner pail is a symbol of economic good times for the working class. It first appeared in a 1900 Judge cartoon, and was then adopted by the reelection campaign of President William McKinley.

On January 31, 1908, Hughes announced that he would accept the Republican presidential nomination, but refused to take practical steps to secure it, insisting that the party should seek him. A prestigious lawyer, he had won the New York governorship in 1906 by defeating Democrat William Randolph Hearst, 52%-48%. President Theodore Roosevelt had pushed for Hughes’s gubernatorial election, and the two men shared a reform philosophy. They were not on good personal terms, though, and the president designated Secretary of War William Howard Taft as his successor. At the Republican National Convention in June, Taft won the nomination in a landslide over Hughes and other candidates.

Here, Hughes’s potential rivals for the presidential nomination in the cartoon’s snowball are (clockwise from the top): Attorney General Philander Knox of Pennsylvania (who resigned in June to enter the Senate); William Howard Taft, who is embedded headfirst and holds a note mentioning his campaign manager, Arthur I. (“Jake”) Vorys, a prominent Ohio lawyer; Speaker of the House Joseph Cannon of Illinois; Senator Joseph Foraker of Ohio; Frank S. Black, former governor of New York (1897-1899); Governor Robert La Follette of Wisconsin; and, President Theodore Roosevelt (who did not become a candidate) holding the hand of his private secretary, William Loeb Jr. Running scared in front of the snowball is another rival, Vice President Charles Fairbanks.













Website design © 2001-2008 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2008 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to