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When a Plutocratic Dinner Doomed a Presidential Campaign

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Media debacles are a recurrent nightmare for presidential candidates. Yet few have ever confronted a more devastating publicity firestorm than the Republican candidate James G. Blaine did on a fateful day in October 1884.

Not even Mitt Romney -- who is now facing the blowback from some arrogant remarks that he made in private at a fundraiser with high-rolling supporters -- has had a day quite as damaging as the one “the Plumed Knight” (as Blaine was known in the press) suffered in the final days of his presidential campaign.