America says it wants a third party. Why not the Modern Whigs?

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Dec. 14 2009 4:35 PM

Big Whigs

America says it wants a third party. Why not the Modern Whigs?

(Continued from Page 1)

Needless to say, the Modern Whig Party has a long way to go. They've ironed out some of the state-level details but currently lack the vision, leadership, and video streaming capability necessary to sustain a competitive national party. Past attempts to repackage the Whigs' name haven't turned out so well:  John Watts ran for governor of Alabama in 1970 and lieutenant governor in 1974 as a Whig candidate. He didn't win.

But that doesn't mean it can't happen. After Whig candidate Zachary Taylor's presidential victory in 1848 *, one Whig announced a prophecy of sorts: "The Whig Party has safely passed through … a transition state and will be as enduring as the union itself. … Its perpetuity as a great national party is placed beyond doubt." Great may be a stretch, but the Whig party certainly is enduring.

Advertisement

Correction, Dec. 15, 2009: This article originally gave the wrong date for Zachary Taylor's presidential victory. ( Return to the corrected sentence.)

Andrew Dubbins is a Slate intern.