Back Mark Twain, “A Presidential Candidate”

Mark Twain (1835–1910)
From The 50 Funniest American Writers: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion

Mark Twain photographed in Constantinople by Abdullah Frères, 1867. (Library of Congress; public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

In the year 1900 Mark Twain returned from five years abroad, and he was unsure of his eligibility to vote in the upcoming presidential election. He told a New York Herald reporter that if it turned out he couldn’t vote, “I shall run for President. A patriotic American must do something around election time, and that’s about the only thing political that is left for me.”

It’s not the first time Twain (jokingly) hinted at a presidential run. In 1879, in a widely syndicated piece, he “announced” his candidacy and simultaneously preempted opposition by confessing to various past misdeeds. While our Story of the Week editors are on summer break, we revisit this previous (and popular) selection, which offers much-needed levity during the present campaign season.

Read “A Presidential Candidate” by Mark Twain

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