James G. Blaine, a Republican who ran for president in 1884, was featured recently on C-SPAN’s history series “The Contenders.” The C-SPAN bus traveled to Augusta for a day and filmed a live program at the Blaine House, in the evening of September 16.
The show featured interviews with State Historian Earle Shettleworth, Colby College professor Elizabeth Leonard and Neil Rolde, author of “Continental Liar from the State of Maine: James G. Blaine.”
The show features key political figures who attempted to run for president but lost. These contenders made their mark and changed American history in fascinating ways. The series explores how.
The Blaine House interviews can be viewed at: www.c-span.org/thecontenders.
An excerpt from Rolde’s book: “In 1884 Republican James G. Blaine came within 1,047 votes of becoming the President of the United States. This was the margin by which he lost New York State— and thus the election—to Grover Cleveland in what has been called ‘the dirtiest campaign in American history.’ He was twice U.S. secretary of state, credited with having started our country on the path to acting like a world power, a powerful speaker of the house in Congress, and a United States senator from his adopted State of Maine.”
Blaine came to Maine because his wife was from here. With her connections he became the editor of the Kennebec Journal from 1854 to 1857