A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 29, 2010
“Politician—One who shakes your hand before election and your confidence after”

"A practical politician is a man who shakes your hand before election and your acquaintance afterward” is a quotation that was widely reprinted in newspapers in September -October 1927, credited to the Louisville (KY) Times.

The witticism changed slightly by May 1954, with “acquaintance” being replaced by the word “confidence”: ”Politician — One who shakes your hand before election and your confidence afterward.”


27 September 1927, Manitoba Free Press (Winnipeg. Manitoba), pg. 13, col. 6:
A practical politician is a man who shakes your hand before election and your acquaintance afterward.—Louisville Times.

30 March 1939, Jefferson City (MO) Post-Tribune, pg. 1, col. 4:
Jefferson City Is First
Consideration, Schott
Says in Fairview Speech
Politicians, He Declares, Shake Your Hand Before Election, Your Acquaintance Later; Defines the Political Pie and Pledges Good Government.


Google Books
May 1954, Changing Times (The Kiplinger Magazine), pg. 2, col. 1:
Politician — One who shakes your hand before election and your confidence afterward.

6 June 1954, Grand Prairie (TX) Texan, pg. 2, col. 1:
Politician—One who shakes your hand before election and your confidence afterward.

Google News Archive
21 January 1955, Beaver Valley Times (PA), “Earl Wilson on Gay Broadway,” pg. 14, col. 7:
EARL’S PEARLS: A politician’s one who shakes your hand before election and your confidence after. Country Drummer.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Monday, November 29, 2010 • Permalink