Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Grover Cleveland Survived Love Child Scandal

Philandering Senator John Edwards denies that Rielle Hunter’s baby is his love child. This may or may not be a true statement. Who can know?

A love child might not be a problem. Read here the Univ. of Virginia’s Miller Center for Public Affairs  account of Grover Cleveland’s handling of the same type of issue in 1884—

In the election of 1884, Cleveland appealed to middle-class voters of both parties as someone who would fight political corruption and big-money interests. Many people saw Cleveland’s Republican opponent, James G. Blaine, as a puppet of Wall Street and the powerful railroads. The morally upright Mugwumps, a Republican group of reform-minded businessmen and professionals, hated Blaine and embraced Cleveland’s efforts at battling corruption. Cleveland also had the popularity to carry New York, a state crucial to victory.

But Cleveland had a sex-scandal to live down: he was accused of fathering a son out of wedlock — a charge that he admitted might be true — owing to his affair with Maria Halpin in 1874. By honestly confronting the charges, Cleveland retained the loyalty of his supporters, winning the election by the narrowest of margins.

( The cartoon above is of Mr. Cleveland.)

While Grover Cleveland was not quite the progressive figure he is made out to be here, it does seem  Senator Edwards should have come out with it all at the start. If this issue was not fatal in 1884, surely Senator Edrwards could have survived it in 2008.

If Mr. Edwards had won the nomination, how could this have been kept a secret?

August 9, 2008 - Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , ,


  1. I think it was really reckless of Edwards to pursue the nomination knowing this was lurking. Really, what if he was the nominee at this point? I don’t care much what they do with their personal lives, but when you add in the sick wife (even if she was “in remission” at the time of the affair) makes him deeply unsympathetic.

    Comment by Julie | August 9, 2008

  2. Yep.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | August 10, 2008

  3. BTW, I hope you didn’t miss Obama saying the other day of the Republicans’ attempt to make fun of his tire-inflation tip, “It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.” It was a terrific moment. Here’s a link for anyone who missed it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akjXqfvLu28

    Comment by Julie | August 11, 2008

  4. […] Since The Women is the story of a wronged wife, fidelity in marriage is one of its most important questions. Our understanding of infidelity has changed a bit, too. (Well, unless you were a politician or millionaire. The story of “Peaches” Browning and Daddy was daily fodder for the papers in the 1920s, and even before that, President Grover Cleveland had a love child issue.) […]

    Pingback by Noir Dame Blog - » Sorry Keanu, no need for your remake | August 17, 2008

  5. well i just learnd somethin new cause at my school im learning a bout him its a project

    Comment by jordyn | January 15, 2009

  6. […] Vitter, Larry Craig, Eliot Spitzer, Barney Frank, Mark Foley, David Paterson, Jim McGreevey, Grover Cleveland, Rudy Giuliani, Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy and John Edwards.  Did I leave anyone […]

    Pingback by It’s 3am, and the phone is ringing « Inappropriate Obama Merchandise | January 26, 2009

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