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The Problem With the President's Popularity

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President John Tyler

By Art Cashin

On this day (-2) in 1843, a President learned that messages from the public at half term can sometimes be unfriendly. His name was John Tyler. As you recall from fourth grade, Tyler – the back half of “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” – had ascended to the presidency when the front half (William H. Harrison) caught the attention of the Guinness people by dying after only thirty days in office.

Anyway, Tyler stepped in and seemed never to capture the popularity of his predecessors almost from the day he took office. Even his wife was somewhat controversial. Some thought she was a bit too pushy or up-front.

Frustrated by newly sagging polls and some Congressional election reversals, Tyler decided to take a small vacation – a little trip. He sent his son down to the railroad station to arrange a special train for the trip. The station master and his staff told the young man something like – “We don’t provide special trains for politicians.” Young Tyler responded by noting that the B&O had made a special train available for the corpse of the late President Harrison. The station master reportedly said – “Bring me your father in the same shape as President Harrison and we’ll be glad to get him a train.”

To mark how far we’ve come since those hostile old days go visit some affable office holders. But don’t mention anything to the folks running for President.

Many thanks to Mr. Cashin and UBS Financial Services who graciously allow his historical musings to be republished on this site. To enjoy more of Art’s posts simply click on “Cashin’s Comments” in the label section on the sidebar.

A Sideways Look At What Really Happened On This Day In History.


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