Bernard Baruch, Park Bench Statesman

By Carter Field | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

AS THE battle for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1928 developed, Baruch kept the promise he had made himself in 1924, that he would never again help any candidate before the convention. But had events shaped just a little differently he might have been forced to break it. This was because one of the candidates was Senator James A. Reed, of Missouri. Reed had been one of the bitterest critics in the entire country of President Wilson, and Baruch felt very strongly against him. Curiously enough one of Baruch's warm friends, Sam W. Fordyce, of St. Louis, then a law partner of Bennett Champ Clark, was Reed's manager.

The fight was really settled in the California primary, in which all three leading candidates, Alfred E. Smith, Senator Thomas J. Walsh, of Montana, and Reed were entered. Smith won so handsomely, despite heavy newspaper support for Reed by the strong anti-League of Nations newspapers, that the other two did not figure seriously after that.

William G. McAdoo took little part in the campaign that followed Smith's nomination, though he did yield sufficiently to Baruch's advice to make a sizable contribution to the Smith campaign fund. Most of Baruch's old friends in the Democratic Party stuck by Smith. He had never been close to Senator Furnifold M. Simmons, of North Carolina, or Senator Tom Heflin, of Alabama, who bolted. (Both were beaten in their primaries the

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