The Democratic Nomination


 “Can It Be Possible?”
  Cartoonist:  William Allen Rogers
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   April 11, 1908, p. 3

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
In this cartoon, William Jennings Bryan appears as the literary character, Robinson Crusoe, who has just discovered that he is not the only human being living on the “Democratic Desert Island.” In Bryan’s case, the footprints are those of two potential rivals for the party’s presidential nomination, Governor John A. Johnson of Minnesota and Princeton president Woodrow Wilson.

Harper’s Weekly editor-publisher George Harvey was an early and influential backer of Wilson’s political career. In early 1906, at a meeting of the Lotos Club, a prominent literary society in New York City, Harvey delivered a speech in which he suggested Wilson for the Democratic presidential nomination two years later. In the intervening time, the editor’s promotion of Wilson’s candidacy failed to gain sufficient support. Governor Johnson was Bryan’s most serious rival, but proved no match for the Great Commoner, and so released his relatively few delegates to Bryan at the 1908 Democratic National Convention. Two years later, Harvey convinced Wilson to run for the New Jersey governorship as a stepping-stone to the White House, both of which the former university president won.













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