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Cleveland made the railroad people squirm.
—The Presidents by Jonathan Coulton.
Big deal! When I was a pup, we got spanked by Presidents till the cows came home. Grover Cleveland spanked me on two non-consecutive occasions.
Take care of the place (The White House), we'll be back.
—Frances Folsom Cleveland
Grover Cleveland served another term.
—The Presidents, again.
Grover Cleveland (born Stephen Grover Cleveland) was the only American president to hold two non-consecutive terms, as the 22nd and 24th president (1885-89, 1893-97). Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd president, winning a bizarre race in 1888 in which Cleveland won the popular vote but Harrison prevailed in the Electoral College. Cleveland was also the second American president to get married while in office, and the only one to marry in the White House itself. He was also the only Democratic president in a period (1869-1913) of Republican executive dominance.
He was drafted during the American Civil War but paid $150 for a substitute (entirely legal at the time), making him America's first draft-dodger President. This, and his refusal to grant bonuses to Civil War veterans, probably helped him lose to the aforementioned Harrison.
Started his political career as the Sheriff of Erie County, New York, where he handled the execution of several prisoners himself.
At the start of his second term as president he discovered a tumor on the roof of his mouth; he had the tumor removed in a secret operation on the presidential yacht which was never revealed until well after his death.
He is considered by conservatives and libertarians to be a highly underrated President, as he mostly stayed within the Constitutional bounds of his office and of Federal power, and also because he generally opposed the growth of labor unions, and even called out federal troops to violently put down striking railroad workers (which the quote at the top of the page references). He fought against waste and corruption by using the veto more than any President before him and kept America on the Gold Standard at a time when it was politically unpopular, which is considered a big reason for the astounding economic growth in the late Nineteenth Century (with the exception of the Panic of 1893).
Some claim that the "Baby Ruth" candy bar is not named after baseball star Babe Ruth, but after first daughter Ruth Cleveland, born between her father's first and second terms. However, since the candy bar was named "Baby Ruth" in 1921--17 years after Ruth Cleveland's death at the age of 12 and 24 years after her father left the White House, but right at the time that Babe Ruth was rocketing to superstardom--it seems more likely that the Curtiss Candy Company was simply avoiding paying Babe Ruth royalties.
Grover Cleveland in fiction:
- Casey and Andy has him compete with Andy for the romantic attentions of Frances Folsom, who actually turns out to be Satan.
- American Dad. In the episode about the peanut brittle conspiracy, Stan refers to Grover as "America's greatest president"(Which is odd, seeing as Cleveland was a democrat, and Stan is a hardcore, right wing Republican). He left the peanut butter on George Washington Carver's doorstep.
- He was a conservative Democrat. It's inverse to how Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive/liberal Republican.
- The Simpsons and Futurama writer Ken Keeler has apparently worked a joke referencing the fact the Grover served two non-consecutive terms into every show he has written for, for instance in the episode 'Two Bad Neighbors' (the one with George HW Bush).
Abe: Grover Cleveland spanked me on two non-consecutive occasions.
- When asked to explain why this trademark joke involving Cleveland was funny he replied, 'Oh, it's not funny!' and then explained the facts about Cleveland for those not aware.
- In Futurama, the crew visit the Hall of Presidents in the Head Museum. First there is Grover Cleveland's head, then Benjamin Harrison's head, then a second Grover Cleveland's head.
- In the TV reunion movie The Wild Wild West Revisited, Cleveland is one of a collection of world leaders suspected of being replaced with a robotic duplicate: "He looks like Grover Cleveland. He sounds like Grover Cleveland. He bumbles around ineptly like Grover Cleveland..."
- In an episode of Murphy Brown, Phil complains that George Bush (I think) and his entourage never stop by his resturant while they're jogging. "What we need's another President like Grover Cleveland! Nice and fat and slow."
- The Disney film The One And Only Genuine Original Family Band is about a politically divided family during the election of 1888. The family patriarch, played by Walter Brennan, is a hardcore Democrat who writes a campaign song for Cleveland, which we hear performed by the family twice during the film.
- An episode of The Venture Brothers features a brief line referring to "Grover Cleveland's Presidential Time Machine". To date, it has not been mentioned again since, but the show's creators are fond of revisiting that kind of thing.