|Billy's Tomb in North bend OH|
#9 William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia (and his treatment no doubt) 32 days into his 1st term. I have written about Billy (his friends really called him that) a few times on Gehio. OK, he is an adopted Buckeye (like me!). He was born in the colony of Virginia but spent nearly his entire adult life in the Ohio Valley when there was no opportunity for him in the failing Virginian planter class economy. He had an impressive political and military resume (Governor of the Indiana Territory and General in the Northwest Indian Wars and War of 1812) and decided to get back into politics late in life. At age 67 when he ran in 1840, they said he was too old and sickly to be President. They were right.
Now here comes the triple threat Civil War General, Ohio President domination from 1869-1881...
|Grant's ironic sign near his birthplace|
in Point Pleasant OH
#19 Rutherford B. Hayes chose not to run for a 2nd (a campaign pledge). It's a good thing I guess. Hayes actually lost the popular vote and there was a backroom deal to decide disputed electoral votes similar to Gore v. Bush in 2000. His presidential legacy will always be known for that rather than anything else he did.
|Garfield preaching it|
in Cincinnati OH
After that hot mess, we go in twos from 1889-1923...
#23 Benjamin Harrison, William's grandson lost re-election for his 2nd term. Another Civil War General. He was sandwiched in between the two Cleveland wins. I guess people felt they made a big mistake with Ben. The Harrison's just couldn't catch a break in the state they helped create.
#25 William McKinley was shot by an anarchist named Leon Czolgosz 6 months into in his 2nd term. he was a Major in the Civil War. Believe it or not it wasn't until McKinley was President that Ohio got a state flag (1902) and the first place it was flown was where he was shot and killed. Coincidence?
|McKinley's not so modest tomb|
in Canton OH
#27 William Howard Taft of Cincinnati lost his re-election thanks in part to Teddy Roosevelt's 3rd party run that siphoned off votes. The first Ohio president to have no military service. He was appointed a Supreme Court Justice later so he did pretty well for himself compared to the other Ohio guys. I am obligated to point out that he was very fat.
#29 Warren G. Harding ran and won against another Ohioan, a Democrat named James Cox. I believe that was the first Ohio vs. Ohio match-up. Then he died of congestive heart failure 2 years into his 1st term. Harding also had no military service. My Great Grandfather sent a telegram of congratulations on his win in 1920. They were both from Marion OH. There are lots of weird things about Harding's Presidency and death.
|Eight Buckeye's to a plate|
Americans gave up on Ohio after that. Too risky. Other Ohioans such as Dennis Kucinich have sought their party nomination and there has been talk of Senator Rob Portman or current Governor Kasich having a go but there has never been another major party nominee from the Buckeye State since 1920. Ohio still plays a key role in modern presidential politics and her electoral votes are much coveted as no Republican has ever been elected President without winning Ohio. If I were a politician from Ohio thinking about a Presidential run, I would take a deep breath consider the legacy thus far.