Throughout American history, one of the most important job qualifications for the office of President has been knowing how to talk. You have to be able to deliver a speech that will rally the people.
For Lincoln it was: “Four score and seven years ago,” FDR had: “A date which will live in infamy.” JFK asked, “Ask not what your country can do for you…” You know what I’m saying.
But one of the most influential speeches in American political history is one most people have never even heard of: William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech. In this episode, we tell Bryan’s story, as well as how a love for great speeches ruined Adlai Stevenson.
This is the second episode in our 3-part series, Contenders: Portraits of some of the most groundbreaking and unusual presidential candidates -- who never won the White House.