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2016 | They Also Ran: America’s Would-Be Presidents
January 31, 2016 @ 12:00 am - April 26, 2016 @ 12:00 am
In the 2016 Presidential Lecture Series, noted presidential historian and former Dole Institute director Richard Norton Smith returns this spring to examine the politicians who were nominated to America’s highest office but never elected. Covering their careers and the reasons behind their losses, this timely four-part series will shed light on the impact of presidential elections on U.S. politics.
Part One: The 19th Century
In the 1800s, three men ran for President of the United States a combined nine times, but never claimed the prize. Though Henry Clay, James G. Blaine and William Jennings Bryan’s presidential candidacies failed, their historical contributions and careers inspired millions.
Part Two: Governors of New York
The beginning of the 20th century saw the rise of New York’s influence on United States politics, along with the start of America’s love/hate relationship with the Empire State. Three New York governors in Charles Evans Hughes, Thomas E. Dewey and Al Smith became key leaders across the political spectrum.
Part Three: Influence in Defeat
Adlai Stevenson and Barry Goldwater were polar opposites in many ways. One was from the left and the other the right, but both possessed devoted followers and had profound influence on their party’s development in the mid-20th century.
Part Four: The Contemporary Midwesterners
Smith wraps up the series by bringing us to modern times with Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern and Robert Dole, three native Midwesterners who had a historical impact that far exceeded their electoral vote.