Henry Clay's easy ascent to the presidency here is in contrast to the serious difficulties experienced by his Democratic opponent James K. Polk. Clay has reached the top of a large pole and has the "Civic Crown" in his grasp. Below him Polk is pushed and prodded by influential supporters Andrew Jackson (left) and Thomas Hart Benton, while John C. Calhoun (far left) watches aghast.
Clay: "With ease I reach the goal, when the hearts of my countrymen are with me."
Polk to Jackson, who prods him with his cane in the seat of his pants: "Almighty hero! desist. I beseech you: for this courtesy is more honored in the "breech" than in the observance."
Benton: "His situation Looks rather "pokerish.""
Calhoun: "Ye gods! what a climber this is! The more he is "poked," the more he don't go up!"