Eisenhower didn’t originally want to run for President. He’d been repeatedly urged to by Harry Truman over the previous years, but Harry wanted Ike to be a Democrat, and Ike’s family were dyed-in-the-wool Republicans. At one point, he retorted to Truman that if he was going to run, it would be as a Republican, not a Democrat.
When word of that got out, Henry Cabot Lodge entered Eisenhower’s name on the ballot for the New Hampshire Primary without Ike’s knowledge. Garnering considerable popular support and a number of endorsements in newspaper editorials, Ike did no campaigning, saying only that if he won, he would contest the election. Eisenhower easily emerged victorious, winning 50% of the votes on March 11, 1952. The next day, he announced that he would indeed run, and come November, he was elected the 34th President of the United States. Richard Nixon was his Vice President.
John Prescott Ellis was 47 years old on the night of the 2000 US Presidential Election. He had spent most of his adult life working in the media as a political consultant, briefly taking time out to work in actual politics during the ’88 and ’92 Presidential Elections. He had been working for the Fox Network for the last few years when 2000 rolled around.
At 2:16 AM (EST), live to air, John Ellis called the state of Florida for George W. Bush, making the Fox the first network to do so. (Oddly, Fox was also the last of the network to retract from the earlier calling of Florida for Gore.) This in itself was unexceptional – and would have remained so even in the chaotic mess that the 2000 election became – but for one small detail: John Prescott Ellis and George Walker Bush are first cousins.
Remember above when I mentioned that Ellis worked in real politics for a little while? He worked on his uncle, George H. W. Bush’s two election campaigns. And although family pride is understandable, at the time, the Fox network was still claiming to be non-partisan. This incident was among those that first indicated that the Fox network was willing to do pretty much anything in support of its chosen political allies.