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|William Henry "Old Tippecanoe" Harrison|
|Vice President||Tyler, too|
|Term of office||February 9, 1773–April 4, 1841|
|Preceded by||Martin Van Buren|
|Succeeded by||A long string of useless, far inferior men.|
|Political party||Too noble for political affiliation|
|Date of birth||Unknown|
|Place of birth||New Haven, CT|
|Date of death||Presumed still in hiding|
|Place of death||N/A|
|First Lady||America, a whore he found on 9th street.|
William Henry Harrison was born a long time before you were and died at one point as well. He is most notable as the ninth president of the United States of America. His position as the oldest president elected, a record broken by Ronald Reagan in 1980, might explain the strange events that followed.
edit Early years and military career
Like many people in his generation, Harrison had early years. He was born into a rich political family that lived on a 1000-acre plantation. His father signed the Declaration of Independence and served as Governor of Virginia. His brother and father-in-law were Congressmen, and his stepmother-in-law was the daughter of the Governor of New Jersey. Harrison later emphasized his "log-cabin" upbringing in the 1840 presidential election.
edit 1836 Presidential Election
To defeat the seemingly unstoppable Democratic Party heir to the great Andrew Jackson, Whig party leaders decided to apply the "divide and conquer" strategy to the presidential race. The party ran three different candidates in different regions of the country, hoping that each would be popular enough to defeat the Democratic candidate in their respective areas. The House of Representatives could then decide between the competing Whig candidates. Since the Speaker of the House was the long-named Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter, and William Henry Harrison was also long-named, Harrison ran as the Midwest's candidate. The Whigs were confident of their victory; with three candidates, how could they lose?
Even though the Whigs had the vastly superior candidates, they had to face the heir to the great Andrew Jackson, an impossible task for even the most candid of candidates. And so, in 1837, the all-around innefective Democratic candidate Martin Van Buren was sworn in as the President of the United States.
In an impromptu concession speech the morning after the election, Harrison famously blamed the "amaglamated newspaper corporations and their various subsidiaries" for favoring his opponent(s). At a postelection press conference, a bitter Harrison lashed out at reporters who, he said "are so delighted that I have lost." He added:
|For 16 years, ever since my first election loss, you've had a lot of—a lot of fun—that you've had an opportunity to attack me and I think I've given as good as I've taken.....But as I leave you I want you to know—just think how much you're going to be missing. You won't have Harrison to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.|
—William Henry Harrison 1836
edit 1840 Presidential Election
edit Whig Party Nomination 1840
Van Buren was widely critizised as a "phallusbiting fornitard" by the public, and popular support turned to the Whig Party. In 1840, the newly energized Whigs convened for their party's national convention to nominate the opponent to the Democratic candidate. The two front-runners on the Whig ticket were Henry Clay and Winfield Scott. Representatives from each state announced which of the two their state voted for and the one with the most votes would logically be the nominee.
Unfortunately, the vote was tied between the two. Rather than doing rock, paper, scissors, or having an arm wrestling contest, as is standard with party committees today, the proper procedure at the time was to simply vote again.
Since logic wouldn't be discovered until 1919, they did not realize that voting again with nothing changing would inevitably achieve the same result. So, the committee was very much surprised at reaching a tie a second time. Continuing with the standard form, they voted again and again, each time reaching the thrilling result of a tie over and over again.
After a few weeks of doing this every day, except weekends and holidays, a hero soon emerged. During one round of voting, likely to achieve similar results as the previous hundreds of rounds, a representative decided to change his vote, and when asked, he said, "Harrison!"
Harrison was not running for president; in fact he wasn't even a representative. He had just come to enjoy the proceedings. And so, when voted for, his response was, "WHAT!? ME!?" Yes, it was him. Regardless of the change in direction for the one representative, Clay and Scott's votes were still too close to call, and so the convention proceeded as it had been going for so long now.
The one representative, now considered quite funny and popular by the other representatives as well as Harrison, continued his vain, steadfast support for the future president. After many more rounds, a few weeks, and many gallons of scotch, another representative also switched his views. He said, "Hey! That's pretty funny, I believe Harrison should be president too!" And thus, he switched his vote to Harrison. Now, Harrison had two votes. Nonetheless, it was still too close to call, and the convention continued.
A few weeks later, a third representative changed to Harrison, then a fourth soon after that. About a month later, Harrison was in the running quite strongly despite never showing any interest in being president that year. The original representative who had voted for him mentioned feeling quite proud of himself, saying, "I just popularized William Henry Harrison."
A few months later, most of the Whig representatives had changed their votes to Harrison. Harrison was to be the Whig nominee after the most passive campaign in the history of the United States. After someone woke him up so they could tell him, he began planning the campaign he never thought about having. When asked, the original representative was even more proud of himself, saying, "I just nominated William Henry Harrison."
edit Race for the White House
Harrison ran a campaign against incumbent president, Martin van Buren, the inventor of vans. After a run shortened due to the length of the nomination proceedings, he was elected president, causing the original representative to say, "Oh my God, I just elected William Henry Harrison."
On March 4, 1841, he was inaugurated into office. His inauguration address was seemingly a continuation of his campaign. He spoke for hours about the change he would make in the country, and of how great a president he would be. The only problem was that the address was in the blistering cold and rain. After pissing off everyone at the speech, he went inside the White House and began to cough.
On April 4th, 30 days later, he died of pneumonia in his bed.
The reaction of the people at his speech was not one of surprise. However, the original representative's reaction was recorded as, "Holy shit! I just killed William Henry Harrison!" After that, he escaped to Canada and changed his name. Vice President John Tyler took over presidential duties, following in the line of ineffective presidents you've never heard of.
- Some dream I had
- A Cracker Jack Trivia Bonus!
- My pet cat
- Graffiti on public lavatory
- My own memory of the election
- William Henry Harrison
Martin van Buren
|His Royal Highness,|
President of the United States,
forever and ever, amen.