The Democratic Nomination


 “How Can He Fail?”
  Cartoonist:  William Allen Rogers
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   April 4, 1908, p. 3

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This cartoon again warns that it is a mistake for the Democratic Party to choose William Jennings Bryan as its standard-bearer in 1908. He appears as an animal trainer who will guide the lame Democratic Donkey in a dangerous attempt to fly off the Democratic Convention mound. The poor beast wears feebly constructed wings representing government ownership and populism. The controversy over Bryan’s previous endorsement of government ownership of major railroad lines compelled him to downplay the issue (as a policy for a future time) and omit it from the 1908 Democratic National Platform. Populism refers to the candidate’s agenda, which had much in common with that of the Populist Party. The bandages on the donkey symbolize Bryan’s presidential defeats in 1900 and 1904, while the added weight of a bound volume of the candidate’s magazine, The Commoner, is tied to its tail.













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