American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history.
This week, we go back to the election of 1884 and the life, times and political legacy of the Republican Party nominee in that race – James G. Blaine – a former Speaker of the House, Senator from Maine, and Secretary of State for three US Presidents. Blaine is one of the most colorful and divisive figures in post-Reconstruction U.S. politics.
The program originated from the Blaine House, the official residence of the governors of Maine. We talked with historians about the 1884 election, Blaine’s relevancy today, and his long career in politics. We also talked with Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) as he welcomed us into the mansion that served as Blaine’s home in the 19th Century.