By 1872 a powerful wave of disgust with Grantism was beginning to build up throughout the nation, even before some of the worst scandals had been exposed. Reform-minded citizens banded together to form the Liberal Republican party. Voicing the slogan "Turn the Rascals Out," they urged purification of the Washington administration as well as an end to military Reconstruction. They muffed their chance when their Cincinnati nominating convention nominated the brilliant but erratic ___ for the presidency. More astonishing still was the action of the office-hungry Democrats, who foolishly proceeded to endorse __'s candidacy. In swallowing __ the Democrats "ate crow" in large gulps, for the eccentric editor of the New York Tribune had long blasted them as traitors, slave shippers, saloon keepers, horse thieves, and idiots. Yet he pleased the Democrats, North and South, when he pleaded for the clasping hands across "the bloody chasm." The Republican party sought a new standard-bearer for 1880 and finally settled on a "dark-horse" candidate, James A. ___, from the electorally powerful state of Ohio. His vice-presidential running mate was a notorious Stalwart henchman, Chester A. Arthur of New York. Energetically waving the bloody shirt, __ barely squeaked out a victory over the Democratic candidate and Civil War Hero, Winfield Scott Hancock. A disappointed and mentally deranged office seeker, Charles J. Guiteau, shot the president in the back a Washington railroad station. __ lingered in agony for eleven weeks and died on Sept. 19, 1881. Guiteau, when seized, reportedly cried, "I am a Stalwart. Arthur is now President of the United States." The implication was that now the Conklingites would get good jobs (spoils system). Military pensions gave Cleveland some of his most painful political headaches. The politically potent GAR routinely lobbied hundreds of private pension bills through a compliant Congress. Benefits were granted to deserters, to bounty jumpers, to men who never served, and to former soldiers who in later years had incurred disabilities in no way connected with war service. A Democrat and a non-veteran, Cleveland was in an awkward position when it came to fighting pension-grabbers. But the conscience-driven president read each bill carefully, vetoed several hundred of them, and then laboriously penned individual veto messages for Congress. He also risked his neck by prodding the hornet's nest of the tariff issue. During the Civil War, tariff schedules had been jacked up to new high levels, partly to raise revenues for the insatiable military machine. The high duties continued to pile up revenue at the customshouses, and by 1881 the Treasury was running an annual surplus amounting to an embarrassing $145 million. Congress could reduce the vexatious surplus in two ways. One was to squander it on pensions and "pork-barrel" bills and thus carry favor with veterans and other self-seeking groups. The other was to lower the tariff - something the big industrialists vehemently opposed. Cleveland had known little and cared less about the tariff before entering the White House. But as he studied the subject, he was much impressed by the arguments of downward revision of the tariff schedules. Lower barriers could mean lower prices for consumers and less protection for monopolies. Most important, they would mean an end to the Treasury surplus, a standing mockery of Cleveland's professed belief in fiscal orthodoxy and small-government frugality. After much hesitation Cleveland saw his duty and overdid it. He tossed an appeal for lower tariffs like a bombshell in the lap of Congress in late 1887. Democrats were deeply depressed at the obstinacy of their chief. Republicans rejoiced at his apparent recklessness. For the first time in years, a real issue divided the two parties as the 1888 presidential election loomed.