Sunday, February 18, 2007

Yo Grover Cleveland!

It's President's Day Weekend and instead of honoring one of the prez' that get all the press and attention in public school I thought I would highlight for you one of the "lesser known" presidents. Mr. Cleveland, or the Grovernator as his friends called him was elected after the Civil War, and the only Prez to leave the White House and return for a second term four years later. Which might have been a blow to the ego of #21 (Chester Arthur) had he not declined to even run for a second term. Anywho....

Grov a democrat, was single when he took office and a also tad bit portly. Not quite portly enough for Eddie Murphy to mock, but he'll get there eventually. Power and love being what it is, Grov managed to land himself a filly. He is the only President to ever marry at the White House.

Cleveland believed that special favors to any economic group should be banned. He likened federal aid to "paternal care" and it weakens the "sturdiness of our national character. . . . " It makes me wonder what he would think of our subsidied food supply in America today.His popularity was greatly impacted by his "fend for yourself" policies and he was no nominated to run for a third term by his own party.

He also vetoed many private pension bills to Civil War veterans whose claims were fraudulent. When Congress, pressured by the Grand Army of the Republic, passed a bill granting pensions for disabilities not caused by military service, Cleveland vetoed it, too.

He also signed the Interstate Commerce Act, the first law attempting Federal regulation of the railroads.

In December 1887 he called on Congress to reduce high protective tariffs. Cleveland was defeated in his re-election campaign in 1888; although he won a larger popular majority than the Republican candidate, he received fewer electoral votes. (deja vu?)

Not one to let go of a fight (teaching economics at college?) he was elected again in 1892, Cleveland faced an acute depression and in response obtained repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act and, maintained the Treasury's gold reserve.

He left Washington and moved to New Jersey where he eventually went to the great Camp David in the sky.

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