There are no second acts in American public life – but there are reruns. So, this year, like it or not, American voters appear to face a November choice between former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden.
More than just allowing debate moderators to address each opponent as “Mr. President,” this would be the first election in over 100 years in which both major parties nominated candidates who had actual experience in the job. That is likely to dramatically affect the way each conducts their campaign.
In 1892, former President Grover Cleveland (D) ran against William Henry Harrison (R) who had defeated him in the election of 1888.
TRUMP, BIDEN AGREE ON ONE THING ABOUT THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY
In 1888, even though Cleveland had successfully appointed a large number of judges to the courts, he was hampered by his unpopular effort to reduce tariffs designed to protect U.S. manufacturing. Despite winning the popular vote, the tariff issue caused him to lose several important manufacturing states–including Illinois (by 3 points), Indiana (by less than 1 point), New York (by 1 point), and Ohio (by 2 points)–and cost him the vote in the Electoral College.
In 1892, however, the tariff issue worked…