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Grover Cleveland's Love Child

Classic Grover Cleveland political cartoon by New York illustrator Frank Beard from The Judge magazine.

Arnold Schwarzenegger may be bearing the brunt of our 24-7 news cycle with the revelation that he fathered a “love child” with a former household staffer 10 years ago, but he’s hardly the first politician to admit to such a scandal. From Jesse Jackson to John Edwards, numerous politicians have fallen victim to their own selfish urges.

And some have even survived politically.

During the 1884 presidential election, then New York governor Grover Cleveland admitted that he had fathered a child with a store clerk while unmarried. Frank Beard, a widely known cartoonist at the time, drew this infamous cartoon of a baby crying, “I want my Pa!” on the cover of The Judge magazine.  Quickly, Cleveland’s opponents took up the cry and started bringing children to Cleveland’s rallies to chant: “Ma, ma, where’s my pa?”

However, Cleveland went on to win the Presidency, and following the electoral victory, the “Ma, Ma …” attack phrase was countered with the slogan, “Gone to the White House. Ha! Ha! Ha!”

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