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On George Washington’s birthday in 1892, former President Grover Cleveland urged graduating students at the University of Michigan to “take with you … a strong and abiding faith in the value and potency of a good conscience and a pure heart. Never yield one iota to those who teach that these are weak and childish things, not needed in the struggle of manhood with the stern realities of life.”fixed floatThe speech embracing Washington’s virtues was “perhaps the most unusual kickoff to a presidential campaign in American history,” wrote Cleveland biographer Troy Senik.Nine months later, Cleveland won the presidency for the second time, becoming the only person in American history to serve non-consecutive terms in the White House. It is a feat former President Donald Trump is trying to duplicate this year.Cleveland overcame scandal in his first run for president when he had to admit to having possibly fathered a child out of wedlock — his opponents derisively chanted, “Ma, ma, where’s my Pa?”But his travails pale in comparison to Trump’s 91 felony charges — and Cleveland’s speech saluting homely American virtues is worlds away from the 2024 Republican frontrunner’s repeated focus on his own grievances, spoken as he travels from primary appearances to courtrooms. And, of course, Cleveland didn’t refuse to accept that he lost his bid for reelection — in 1888 to Benjamin Harrison — as Trump has, claiming without evidence that the 2020 election was a fraud.The first true test of Trump’s comeback occurs Monday in Iowa, where caucusgoers will venture into sub-zero temperatures to choose between Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and others.fixedfloatAfter months of speculation, we’ll finally get some answers to a few questions: Is there an opening for any Republican aside from Trump? Will DeSantis’ decision to focus on Iowa, where he’s visited all 99 counties, pay off? Does Haley’s momentum in New Hampshire, where she is second in the polls, also apply to Iowa?Most of our contributors thought Haley won Wednesday’s CNN debate in Iowa against DeSantis, but Trump’s absence from the stage again loomed large.“Haley sounded like someone looking to take on the genuine article — the Republican frontrunner,” wrote W. James Antle III. “Her refrain of ‘make America proud again’ appropriated Trump’s signature line while suggesting his term wasn’t always a source of national pride. She went even more directly against his divisiveness and conduct during the January 6 Capitol riot.”