During the election of 1896, Republican Presidential Nominee William McKinley found a radical new way to campaign in a changing political climate.
The nation’s so-called “little guy” demanded political inclusion, and called for a government that would address the economic needs of its growing agrarian society, as well as social issues such as black voting rights.
McKinley took a surprising approach to his campaign. He focused on the needs of immigrants and diverse ethnic groups. He also advocated for black voting rights and gained the endorsements of Catholic leaders.
McKinley won the election against his Democratic opponent, William Jennings Bryan, and became the nation’s 25th president. The demand for inclusion during that election is not unfamiliar. So what can today’s presidential candidates learn from the election of 1896?
Political Analyst Karl Rove joins Larry Mantle today to discuss his new book on the subject, “The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters,” how history has represented McKinley, how he addressed the needs of the public and what our current presidential candidates can glean from his campaign.
Karl Rove, political analyst and author of “The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters,” (Simon & Schuster, 2015). He tweets from @KarlRove