Stumping From the Front Yard

April 09, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

President Garfield had pioneered the technique of conducting a campaign for president from his front porch in 1880. It helped to have a home with access to a railroad stop built just for him. The tracks near his house brought the curious public to see him at a time when candidates generally did not campaign in person at all. William McKinley, who also had railroad tracks near his house, took the front porch technique into new territory in 1896 by recruiting friendly audiences. The last front porch campaign, by Warren Harding in 1920, controlled the message even more, befriending reporters by building them a press room and buying the reporters a car.

It was a far cry from the first folksy front porch campaign of Garfield, when reporters camped out on his lawn.

 


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