Both candidates for president in 1852-Democrat Franklin Pierce and Whig Winfield Scott-served as generals in the Mexican War, which should have given them equally solid commander-in-chief credentials. Scott supporters didn’t think so. They questioned Pierce’s record, mockingly nicknaming him the Fainting General because he once fainted during battle and had to be carried off the field. The Whigs implied that he passed out from cowardice, ignoring the fact that his leg was severely injured. They drove home their point by publishing a one-inch-high book titled “The Military Service of General Pierce.”

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