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?
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?