Bernard Baruch, Park Bench Statesman

By Carter Field | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

BARUCH will give us all the money we want now, when he knows Franklin is going to be President. He wouldn't give us a nickel before the Chicago convention, when we really needed it."

The speaker was Louis McHenry Howe, gnomelike secretary to, political manager for, and worshiper of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The time was October, 1932, when the Democratic National Committee, though always needing money, was beginning to weigh each financial contribution tendered against the potential obligation it might impose on Rooseveltafter inauguration.

It was not a mere casual statement made in conversation. Again and again during the campaign Louis, brooding over the before-Chicago struggle, would march into the office of anyone he knew liked Baruch and shoot this statement provocatively.

"Well, Baruch doesn't want anything in return for the money he is now offering," Senator Key Pittman said rather sharply to Howe on one of these occasions.

"And he isn't going to get anything," said Louis angrily as he walked away.

Howe and Pittman were not talking the same language. Pittman knew that Baruch had refused the secretaryship of the Treasury under Wilson and that he did not want any office or any special favors for any private interests, so he resented what he thought Louis meant. But Howe didn't mean anything of

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