Move over Calvin Coolidge: Grover Cleveland has a valid claim to being regarded as the most constitutionally faithful and fiscally frugal president since the Civil War—a case made splendidly in Troy Senik’s new biography that is being published today, A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland.

What explains this outlier of a politician, who is so unlike Democrats before him, never mind all the Democrats who came after him? Senik, perhaps better known to the podcast world as the host of “Law Talk” with John Yoo and Richard Epstein, does a masterful job of exploring this remarkable figure, how he rose from obscurity to the White House in less than four years, and how he returned to the White House for a second non-consecutive term, amidst allegations of improper personal behavior and vote fraud. (If this all sounds familiar, it should.)

But wait—there’s more! Troy is the co-founder of Kite and Key Media, and we spend the last few minutes of our conversation on how and why Kite and Key was founded, and its deliberate editorial style. Kite and Key is worth checking out and adding to your regular internet rotation, if you haven’t done so already.

Needless to say, I think it’s pretty easy to guess the exit music for this episode.

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There are 5 comments.

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  1. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald

    I found Kite and Key on Youtube.  I was wondering where it came from because it seemed rational.  Good to know.

    • #1
  2. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald

    Enjoyed the discussion about Cleveland.  It is encouraging to think that politics isn’t getting particularly worse.  There is a long tradition of chicanery and skulduggery.  Hopefully we’ll survive another century and a half.

    • #2
  3. GlennAmurgis Coolidge

    Election chicanery goes back to 1800 – the Adams vs Jefferson was brutal – if these two couldn’t do it without rancor, how do you expect the current batch to do so

    • #3
  4. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle

    I love any story with a Buffalo connection. Will be reading this.

    • #4
  5. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator

    I’ve been enjoying Troy’s book maybe a little too much.  I’m on a bicycle tour around the Great Lakes shorelines of Michigan’s lower peninsula, and have been listening to the book since Petoskey (or maybe it was a little before that). Problem is, I was listening so hard tonight (while getting Grover Cleveland past his cancer surgery) that I missed a turn I had intended to route me close to the Lake Michigan shoreline north of Manistee.  It’s okay because I came across an Indian treaty-reserve line I had wanted to photograph anyway, though the sun was low in the sky and it was hard to get much of a photo in that direction.  I won’t blame Troy for my missing another turn I had intended to make earlier in the day to take me to a site I’ve been wanting to see for years–one that Bruce Catton had written about in his book, “Waiting for the Morning Train.”  I was listening to Troy’s book then, too, but got distracted by other issues causing me to miss that one.  

    • #5
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