Harriman and the Naughty Strawberry Blonde

At the end of 1955, candidates were ramping up their target of the Presidency of the US. Adlai Stevenson ended up the Democrat candidate, losing the election, but the second place for the candidacy was Averell Harriman.

Harriman was a serious contender; he had been holding offices of one sort or another (the Governor of New York at the time), and a few short weeks after the political cartoon above Harriman appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Harriman was a New Dealer during Roosevelt’s days, but his rich family gave him appeal to businesses and the Wall Street crowd. Eisenhower had continued many New Deal programs on his own, so why the comic?

Let’s take it apart: Harriman, a New Deal proponent, was a early Democrat contender. However, he’s got the money and big business interests in his pockets. Eisenhower, too, kept up with the New Deal and worked towards balancing the budget, while working on military strength. Harriman, it seems, was more like the Republican incumbent than the Democrats wanted — the comic implies that the Democrats were looking for a more centrist candidate. Harriman was ‘sleeping’ with the leftism of the New Deal, hiding his vices out the back door — but Harriman was about to greet the centrist Democrats with open arms while his vices patiently waited out back. Public opinion must have agreed — the more centrist Adlai Stevenson was brought back to run against Eisenhower for a second time, after losing in ’52. Harriman, despite his early lead, apparently couldn’t shake the strawberry blonde on the back step.