(25.) STEPHEN GROVER CLEVELAND (1837-1908)
Democrat Cleveland/A. G. Thurman
Defeated by Republican Benjamin Harrison/Levi P. Morton, 1888
Grover Cleveland was the only president to make a comeback after defeat for a second term. He defeated James G. Blaine for district attorney and was elected mayor of Buffalo at which time he effectively reorganized the city government. Later, as governor of New York, Cleveland put through a strong civil service law, exercising his veto power unflinchingly. Finally, as President, he sponsored a non-partisan civil service. He was conciliatory toward the South and he vetoed two-thirds of the bills presented to him—mostly pension bills. It is generally conceded that these two things lost him a consecutive second term.
Four years later, when Harrison was running for re-election, Cleveland won. He took a “hard money” stand following the panic of 1893, and as a corrective measure, he secured the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. Other outstanding achievements of his second term were insistence upon arbitration for the Great Britain-Venezuela boundary dispute and quelling the Pullman strike in Chicago by use of the U. S. troops for which Labor denounced him.