1900: My How Things Change
At the dawn of the year 1900 most Americans were content with President McKinley and his time in office. Though the nation was not quite in a boom period, nor was it a bust and the nation was just coming off a successful war in Spain. To put it simply most Americans were happy and were not likely to throw off the President in such a period. Nonetheless William Jennings Bryan, the man who hoped to best President McKinley felt he had a fair shot at the Presidency just as he had in 1896 and he was quickly nominated by his party's convention. However with the death of the Vice President the Republicans had to do something that was almost as important as nominating a President and that was to nominate a Vice President. Though usually not so important a post it was well known among the political circles that President McKinley was in ill health.
On the first ballot at the Republican Convention President McKinley was renominated by acclamation. However the Vice Presidential choice was much more hard fought. At first it seemed obvious the Republicans would choose New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt due to how much New York party boss Thomas Platt despised the man however when told of Platt's choice McKinley's campaign manager, Ohio Senator Mark Hanna was famously heard to shout, "There is no damn way I will ever allow that man to lead our party as long as I live! No damn way!" With that the matter was dropped. Instead to appease Platt and the New York delegation in choosing a New Yorker, the President chose Secretary of State Elihu Root, a man who was well known for his work for the administration during the Spanish- American war. In what was a fairly uneventful election, McKinley and Root managed to once again decimate Bryan and his running mate Adlai Stevenson. But little did the Republicans know a dark cloud was on the horizon.......Bryan/Stevenson-177McKinley/Root-270