Plus ca change, plus le meme chose

The threshold for what the people will accept in their political leaders has changed considerably since the late nineteenth century, when the 49-year-old President of the United States, Grover Cleveland, married the 21-year-old daughter of his friend and law partner. When Oscar Folsom was killed in an accident, Cleveland managed the estate on behalf of Folsom’s widow and eleven-year-old daughter, Frances. Cleveland was in the White House when he began his clandestine courtship of Frances Folsom, then a college student, and the two were married shortly after her 21st birthday. During Cleveland’s 1884 presidential campaign, a Buffalo newspaper ran a story detailing Cleveland’s affair with Maria Halpin , a New Jersey widow, a decade earlier that produced a son, named Oscar Folsom Cleveland. (Republicans at the time sought to capitalize on the scandal with the slogan: Ma, Ma, Where’s My Pa? Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha.) Cleveland supported his son, who was given up for adoption. Later he set Halpin up in a business, and eventually (around the time he began his political career as Mayor of Buffalo and as Governor of New York) paid her $500 to leave town. Cleveland was the only President born in New Jersey. After his two terms as President, he retired to Princeton and once considered running for New Jersey’s United States Senate seat.

Plus ca change, plus le meme chose