That’s exactly how Woodrow Wilson won the 1918 Democratic presidential nomination.
Somber and scholarly,Wilson nearly disappeared next to Champ Clark, the flashy, cigar-chomping front-runner from Missouri.
During the long convention battle for the nomination,Wilson lost ballot after ballot to Clark. But Clark kept failing to win the two-thirds’ majority he needed for the nomination at the time.
Frustrated and angry, Clark politicked harder and harder. Soon, his hardball tactics angered people and Wilson surged ahead, taking the nomination on the 46th ballot.
— Adapted from Presidential Greatness, Thomas. A. Bailey, Appleton-Century.