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270 views • November 16, 2022

Trump's Presidential Bid Brings Attention to Mostly Forgotten Grover Cleveland

NTD News
NTD News
One of the most recognizable figures in the world, Donald Trump officially launched his quest to duplicate a feat accomplished by another former president who, until now, has been mostly forgotten. Declaring that “America’s comeback starts right now,” Trump announced his candidacy to run for president in 2024 during a prime-time address at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Nov. 15. If he prevails, Trump will join Grover Cleveland as the only president to leave the White House and return for a second term four years later. Four of America’s chief executives have taken Trump’s current path. Martin Van Buren and Herbert Hoover were unable to regain the Republican nomination following defeats after their first term. Theodore Roosevelt’s progressive movement alienated him from the GOP, and his quest to ascend to the presidency again as a third-party candidate was unsuccessful. Cleveland, who was governor of New York and the former mayor of Buffalo, was first elected president in 1884 before losing in 1888 and winning again in 1892. He was also the first Democrat elected president after the Civil War. The history books often laud Cleveland for his honesty. In 1884, he narrowly defeated James G. Blaine to earn his first term. A bachelor when he was first elected, Cleveland was 48 when he took office in 1885. A year later, he married 21-year-old Frances Folsom and became the only president who was married in the White House. His first child was born in the White House, too, which has not happened since. During his first term, he cracked down on railroad companies that illegally annexed federal land in the west and signed the Interstate Commerce Act into law. This was the first measure to establish federal regulation of the railroads and led to the creation of more government agencies. Cleveland also signed the Dawes Act of 1887, which authorized the government to break up tribal land. This resulted in taking away more than 90 million acres of tribal property from Native Americans and selling the land to U.S. citizens who were not Native Americans. When the time arrived for Cleveland to seek a second term in 1888, he appeared to lack enthusiasm for his campaign. He told a friend that “I sometimes think that perhaps more enthusiasm would have been created if somebody else had been nominated after a lively scrimmage at St. Louis,” where the party’s convention was held. Though he won the popular vote, Cleveland was defeated by Republican Benjamin Harrison in the general election. He and his wife moved to New York City, where he basked in retirement. He became a father and told a colleague that he “had entered the real world” for the first time. Life as a private citizen proved unfulfilling for Cleveland, and he saw an opportunity to defeat Harrison in a rematch because the president had grown unpopular with many Americans. He received his party’s nomination and won his rematch against Harrison. 'Self-made, Scrupulously Honest' Troy Senik was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. His book, “A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland,” was released in September. “Grover Cleveland was precisely the kind of self-made, scrupulously honest man that Americans often say they want as their president,” Senik writes. “We had him for eight years. And, somehow, we forgot him. “He was not a master strategist like Lincoln, a frenzied crusader like Theodore Roosevelt, or a philosopher-king like Thomas Jefferson,” Senik added. “He was, in many ways, ordinary. And that was where his greatness resided.” Cleveland’s second term was marked by a depression and controversial decisions. In late June 1894, Cleveland signed legislation that established a national Labor Day holiday in early September. A few days later, he summoned federal troops to Chicago to enforce an injunction against a railroad workers’ strike and squash the uprising, leaving around 30 people dead. “If it takes the entire army and navy of the United States to deliver a postcard in Chicago, that
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