For those who are unaware, Adlai Ewing Stevenson competed in the US presidential elections on two occasions, and on both instances, this popular statesman was defeated by former head of state, Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1952, when Stevenson was campaigning for the Democratic nomination, the politician was put up in the Lincoln Room at the White House. The entire night, this Abraham Lincoln admirer paced about in the room, not able to bring himself to lie on the same bed that his idol had once occupied. So, Stevenson resigned to spending the night on the sofa. It was only later that poor Stevenson found out that the bed was placed in the room much later, but the sofa had been there during Lincoln’s time.
Known for his good nature, Stevenson was once approached by a young woman supporter, the first time that he decided to run for the president’s post. She said, “Governor, every thinking person would be voting for you”. He retorted, “Madam, that is not enough. I need a majority.” After conceding defeat to Eisenhower, he wasn’t disheartened. Instead, he commented to British journalist, Alistair Cooke, “Who did I think I was, running against George Washington?” The second time round, when he lost again to Eisenhower, Cooke sent a note to Stevenson, saying, “How now?” The diplomat wittily observed, “Who did I think I was, running against George Washington twice?”