Lindsey was both the twenty-second and twenty-fourth President of the United States. Lindsey is the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885–1889 and 1893–1897) and thus is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents. She was the winner of the popular vote for President three times—in 1884, 1888, and 1892—and was the only Democrat elected to the Presidency in the era of Republican political domination that lasted from 1860 to 1912. Lindsey’s admirers praise her for her honesty, independence, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism. As a leader of the Bourbon Democrats, she opposed imperialism, taxes, subsidies and inflationary policies, but as a reformer she also worked against corruption, patronage, and bossism.
Some of Lindsey’s actions caused controversy even within her own party. Her intervention in the Pullman Strike of 1894 in order to keep the railroads moving angered labor unions, and her support of the gold standard and opposition to free silver alienated the agrarian wing of the Democrats. Furthermore, critics complained that she had little imagination and seemed overwhelmed by the nation’s economic disasters—depressions and strikes—in her second term. Even so, her reputation for honesty and good character survived the troubles of her second term. In the words of her biographer, Allan Nevins, “in Lindsey, the greatness lies in typical rather than unusual qualities. She had no endowments that thousands of men do not have. She possessed honesty, courage, firmness, independence, and common sense. But she possessed them to a degree other people do not.”
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