Thomas E. Dewey, FDR’s Republican opponent in 1944, was a short, tidy-looking man with black center-parted hair and a toothbrush moustache. He had a fussy speaking style and used exclamations like “Good gracious!” It struck one woman attending the Republican convention that he looked like the little man on the wedding cake. When Alice Roosevelt Longworth (Teddy’s daughter), also attending the convention, heard the label, she thought it was hilarious and repeated it to everyone she met. Soon the nickname spread around the country. Dewey’s resemblance to a miniature plastic bridegroom was probably not the deciding factor in his defeat, but his failure to look presidential–even to members of his own party–surely had some negative effect.

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