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Fail to the Chief

Fail to the Chief is the podcast where comic "historian" Thom Woodley talks about the men who became President... almost. Romp through the losers of presidential history, laugh and marvel at how different life might have been, had America made different choices. FailToTheChief.wordpress.com

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NEW: 1952/1956. Adlai Stevenson, the Thinking Man's President.

This is a repost as there was an error the first time I posted! Comic historian Thom Woodley digs into the record of Adlai Stevenson II, Governor of Illinois and two-time nominee of the Democratic party, who lost big to Dwight Eisenhower. 

47mins

3 Dec 2019

Rank #1

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1936. Landslide Alf Landon

in this episode, Thom Woodley discusses the very boring Kansas governor Alf Landon and his landslide loss to Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

41mins

9 Jul 2019

Rank #2

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1948. Henry Wallace, the Secret Soviet Spy candidate?

Join comic historian Thom Woodley as we talk about Henry Wallace, former Vice President and the 1948 candidate of the Progressive Party... and also maybe, just maybe, a secret Soviet asset. 

35mins

5 Nov 2019

Rank #3

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1916. Charles Evans Hughes, the Beard we can Believe in.

In this episode, Thom looks at one of the best presidential losers of all time, Charles Evans Hughes. He lost to Woodrow Wilson by only about six thousand votes, but it's all good - he went on to serve as both Secretary of State and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, so don't feel too bad. 

35mins

2 Apr 2019

Rank #4

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BONUS! The 5th Era of American Politics Review

In this episode, we explore ALL of the losers of the 5th Period in American Politics (1932-1968), Alf Landon, Wendell Willkie, Thomas Dewey, Adlai Stevenson, Strom Thurmond, Henry Wallace and Barry Goldwater, and find out where they rank among the losers of all American history.  We also talk about some notable other losers of the era: Henry Breckinridge, Cactus Jack Garner, Estes Kefauver, Averell Harriman, Bob Taft, Douglas MacArthur, Nelson Rockefeller and the classic perennial candidate of them all, Harold Stassen. 

33mins

14 Jan 2020

Rank #5

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Barry Goldwater: the Ted Cruz of 1964

Join humorist historian Thom Woodley as he discusses the men who lost presidential elections. This time he talks about conservative icon and uber-loser Barry Goldwater.  Please subscribe and rate us on iTunes! And follow us at @failtothechief. 

39mins

29 Jun 2016

Rank #6

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1900-1920. Eugene V. Debs and the (first) Socialist Revolution

Did you know that America had socialist candidates before Bernie Sanders? We sure did. In fact, union organizer Eugene Debs ran as the Socialist candidate in five elections - including one from a prison cell. 

39mins

19 Mar 2019

Rank #7

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1864. George McClellan, the Trump of the Civil War

Join comic historian Thom Woodley on a discussion of the very Trumplike candidate to lose against Abraham Lincoln in the middle of the Civil War. 

37mins

12 Mar 2017

Rank #8

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1904. The Anonymous Alton B. Parker.

Thom Woodley explores the candidacy of Judge Alton B. Parker, the most forgotten of all losers - so forgotten that this democratic nominee has never even had a biography written about him. 

36mins

5 Mar 2019

Rank #9

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1872. Horace Greeley and the Lamestream Media

Join comic historian Thom Woodley as he investigates the losers of presidential history. In this episode, Liberal Republican candidate and New York Tribune founder-editor Horace Greeley. He lost to Ulysses Grant, was a titan of media, and a journalistic icon, as well as a brilliant genius and possible lunatic. (History politics presidents worst comedy)

38mins

25 May 2017

Rank #10

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James Cox: The John Kasich of 1920

Humorist historian discuss the presidential losers.  In this episode, Gov. James Cox of Ohio, who lost in 1920 to Warren G. Harding and bears a striking similarity to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.

30mins

12 Jun 2016

Rank #11

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1824 and 1832. The Incredible Henry Clay (Part 1)

Thom rereleases part 1 of his all-time favorite loser, Henry Clay, the man who ran six times, was nominated thrice, saved the Union thrice, and probably almost destroyed it a few times too. 

36mins

30 Apr 2019

Rank #12

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Ep 29: La la la Loser, La la la La Follette (Re-release)

Re-release of episode from 2015/2016 about 'Fighting Bob' La Follette, champion of the Progressive Party and bigtime loser of 1924.  

34mins

21 May 2019

Rank #13

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1928. Al Smith, the Happy Warrior

In this episode, humorist historian Thom Woodley dives into Al Smith, Governor of New York, first Catholic nominee, a man who might have prevented the Depression even though he never even went to high school. 

40mins

4 Jun 2019

Rank #14

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1896, 1900, 1908. William Jennings Bryan, shaper of the Democratic Party.

Thom Woodley discusses three-time democratic party loser William Jennings Bryan, and what the world would be like had this preacher-in-chief been elected. 

53mins

5 Feb 2019

Rank #15

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1876. Samuel Tilden and the Ruther-Fraud of the Century

Comic historian Thom Woodley dissects the back stories, politics and failures of the men who lost presidential elections. In this episode, epic 1876 loser Samuel Tilden, who had the election stolen right from under his beaklike nose.  

36mins

30 Aug 2017

Rank #16

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1924. John W. Davis, Pride of West Virginia

In this episode, Thom dives into one of the most forgotten presidential losers of all time, John W. Davis, 1924 Democratic dark horse nominee. 

35mins

7 May 2019

Rank #17

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1868. Horatio Seymour, the Man who Wouldn't be President (please??)

Join comic historian Thom Woodley on a tour through the losers of presidential history - this time Horatio Seymour, Governor of New York, who lost the election of 1868 to Ulysses S. Grant, and has the distinction of being the loser who most sincerely did NOT want to become president. 

37mins

15 Apr 2017

Rank #18

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BONUS! The Cross of Gold Speech by William Jennings Bryan

Thom reads the 1896 Democratic National Convention 'Cross of Gold' speech of William Jennings Bryan. 

20mins

13 Feb 2019

Rank #19

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BONUS! The Premature Obituary of John Breckinridge

Thom reads the New York Times' premature and erroneous obituary of John C. Breckinridge, thought to be killed in the Civil War (but actually surviving for another 12 years).

6mins

8 Mar 2016

Rank #20