When William Jennings Bryan was defeated for the second time in a row for the Presidency in 1900, the eastern conservative “gold” wing of the Democratic party decided it was time to assert itself. Four members of the cabinet of former President Cleveland started a drive for reorganization, calling for the party to forsake all “dead issues,” which would include those associated with Bryan. But that triggered a near-desperate search for a presidential candidate. The internal fight would be greater than the campaign fight, and the Democratic party wound up with a crushing loss.
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