“The Greatest of American Intimidators North and South. Practical Politician. ‘Vote as I dictate!’” Harper’s Weekly, November 7, 1885, page 725.

By 1884 Thomas Nast’s political transformation was all but complete. Along with Curtis and Godkin, he supported Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland, who championed civil service reform, against machine Republican candidate James G. Blaine. Nast agreed that a politics of substance and meaning had been supplanted by the rule of the “practical politician,” bamboozling gullible black and Irish voters alike.