CHAPTER 11
The Early Campaign

The 1936 campaign was one of the strangest in the history of American politics, and some observers at the time compared it to the campaigns that preceded the Civil War. In the 1930s, as in the 1850s, the political parties were in flux. The composition of the Democratic party had not changed for several generations, but, in the 1930s, Negroes flocked to its banners and organized labor virtually declared the party its own. This formerly conservative party, now under the leadership of the aristocratic Franklin D. Roosevelt, became the haven of liberals and progressives of all kinds, and Republicans, agrarians, and even socialists entered its ranks to an extent that was alarming to the party's regulars. The Republican party also was reconstituted, not only by the loss of many of its Negro, labor, and urban constituents but also by the addition of some conservative Democrats. Ironically, in 1936 the Republican ticket was headed by two old Bull Moosers, and its national committee was loaded with Main Street rather than Wall Street figures.

Third parties were still in abundance, colorful if weak. The Socialists and Communists fielded noisy campaign teams and joined in the race for power with the new Coughlin-Smith-and-Townsend Union party. Strong independent state parties arose to harass the major parties in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and New York; and many Democrats abandoned their nominees to assist third-party and independent candidates.

-262-

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Landon of Kansas
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Chapter 1 Beginnings 3
  • Chapter 2 Getting Down to Business 20
  • Chapter 3 State Chairman 47
  • Chapter 4 Oil and Politics Mix 67
  • Chapter 5 from Oil Rebel to Governor 91
  • Chapter 6 the Governor in Action 118
  • Chapter 7 Affairs of State 150
  • Chapter 8 a Second Term 181
  • Chapter 9 a Long Shot 208
  • Chapter 10 a Candidate for Sure 234
  • Chapter 11 the Early Campaign 262
  • Chapter 12 Full-Time Candidate 291
  • Chapter 13 Sunflowers Do Not Bloom in November 313
  • Chapter 14 from Under the Wreckage 340
  • Chapter 15 Titular Head 353
  • Chapter 16 a Practical Liberal? 381
  • Chapter 17 Days of World Crisis 407
  • Chapter 18 Politics in Time of Peril--1940 423
  • Chapter 19 Road to War 454
  • Chapter 20 Political Opponent in Time of War 480
  • Chapter 21 the Postwar World 513
  • Chapter 22 Ten Years Down on the Farm 542
  • Chapter 23 Elder Statesman 560
  • Bibliographical Note 583
  • Achnowledgments 586
  • Index 589
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