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History As It Happens

Nov 29, 2022

It's a small group no one wants to be a member of. Since the dawn of the republic only 10 elected presidents have been rejected by voters in their bids for a second term. Only one of those, Grover Cleveland, was able to win a non-consecutive term after losing his first re-election campaign. This is another way of saying that history doesn't offer many guides to help us understand our turbulent politics today, as Donald Trump seeks another shot at the White House after his bitter 2020 defeat. And the man who unseated him, Joe Biden, has left open the door to stepping aside come 2024 -- another rarity in presidential politics. In this episode, historian Jeffrey Engel focuses our attention on the election of 1912 when a popular former president tried to win another term after four years away from the White House.