Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Obscurity of the Day, Election Day Edition: Political Life of Al Smith

Hey ho, it's Election Day! That exciting day when all the illegal aliens and convicted felons flock to the polls and pretend they're citizens in good standing in order to shanghai the political future of our great nation. Never mind that if they're caught they would go to Federal prison or get deported -- hey, it's so worth it to swing the election by that one single vote!

There was a day when we weren't so worried about all-but-nonexistent fraud by ineligible voters. No, we were inundated with the real kind -- ballot box stuffing, vote suppression, vote buying, and corpse-voting sponsored by rapacious politicians. Which brings us (finally) to today's obscurity, a bio-strip about Al Smith.

Smith came out of the incredibly corrupt Tammany Hall political machine of New York City, which was expert at every brand of voter fraud you can think of, and undoubtedly some you can't. Although he was an expert at not getting his own hands dirty, Smith was forever tainted by his association with the Tammany tiger. He was elected to increasingly important offices in New York, culminating with four terms as governor in the 1910s-20s. However, when he was made the Democrat candidate for president in 1928, the Tammany taint, combined with his Catholicism, were the prime factors in losing the election. That doomed the country to four years of  the do-nothing administration of Herbert "a chicken in every pot" Hoover and the Great Depression. But, on the other hand, we narrowly averted letting Tammany get a toe-hold in the Oval Office. So pick your poison.

Oh, you wanted to know about the comic strip? Sorry. Political Life of Al Smith ran for eighteen episodes, or three weeks, of daily strips. It was written by a fellow named Barry Meglaughlin and drawn by Paul Frehm. Frehm is best known for his long run drawing Believe It or Not (1949-77). The strip was distributed to papers right before the 1928 election, but we don't know for sure who did the distributing. My bet is that it was a freebie sent out to papers by the Democrats. Cole Johnson (who supplied the samples) thinks it was likely produced and syndicated by the folks at the New York Evening Graphic.


If this was an Evening Graphic strip, did they also have a Hoover set?
Hello, Grizedo----I assumed that this strip was a GRAPHIC item because the newspaper I was working with(THE MERRIMACK VALLEY SUN) carried MacFadden's strips. Of course Allan could be right, that these Al Smith strips were a giveaway from the Democratic party. As you see, they carry no copyright. The SUN didn't run a "Hoover" strip
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