Sunday, March 13, 2016

Andrew Jackson covered by "Politico"

Politico is running an article by Andrew Saunders about Andrew Jackson and the "Corrupt Bargain" in the 1824 Presidential election, The First Time Party Bigwigs Tried to Stop a Front-Runner From Becoming President It Backfired — Big-time 03/13/2016.

The gag-inducing Trump comparison doesn't really come until the last paragraph, thankfully.

But he does give us a history refresher:

Andrew Jackson was one of America’s first political outsiders. Born to impoverished immigrants in the backwoods of the South, he was tough, thin-skinned and fiercely confrontational — a brawling Jackson once took a musket ball in the chest before killing a rival in a duel. Resolute and strategically brilliant, Jackson rose through the ranks to become the greatest war hero of his generation. Known by his supporters as Old Hickory, Jackson stirred passions in the American people that his presidential rivals John Quincy Adams, William Crawford and Henry Clay could only dream of. Tens of thousands flocked to the charismatic outsider who positioned himself as a steadfast defender of the Republic. Jackson’s rallies dwarfed those of his rivals. Yet he had little political experience and plenty of baggage. Jackson was, his rivals believed, more of a celebrity than a serious candidate.

In many ways the general election of 1824 mirrors the Republican primary today. Following the collapse of the Federalist Party some years earlier, America was effectively under single-party rule, and all four candidates were members of the same political party, the Democratic-Republicans. In that way, 1824 was more like an extended primary campaign than a general election—a primary that would determine not just the direction of the nation, but also the fate of the party. And, as is the case in the GOP today, voters in 1824 appeared restless for change, and the most popular candidate was viewed as unacceptable by many in the party establishment.

In the election, held in December 1824, Jackson stunned his rivals to win a clear plurality in the popular vote and Electoral College. With 99 Electoral College votes to Adams’ 84, Crawford’s 41 and Clay’s 37, Jackson was short of an outright majority, but undoubtedly had the strongest claim to the White House. However, with no overall winner, the decision was put to the House of Representatives, which was then under the speakership of failed candidate Henry Clay. Clay threw his support not to Jackson but to second-placed John Quincy Adams. When Adams became America’s sixth president he returned the favor, appointing Clay his secretary of state.

... A furious Jackson ... blasted the deal as a “Corrupt Bargain.” From his perspective, Clay and Adams had conspired against him, putting their own interests above of the will of the people.

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