Roosevelt and Daniels, a Friendship in Politics

Roosevelt and Daniels, a Friendship in Politics

Roosevelt and Daniels, a Friendship in Politics

Roosevelt and Daniels, a Friendship in Politics

Excerpt

Franklin D. Roosevelt, age thirty, and Josephus Daniels, age fifty, first met in Baltimore at the Democratic National Convention of 1912 and helped bring about the nomination for president of Woodrow Wilson. It was an auspicious occasion for them both. Daniels was one of the most active and influential of the Wilson men present and played a leading role in the Convention that almost nominated Champ Clark of Missouri, candidate of the conservatives, but finally, on the forty-sixth ballot, nominated Wilson. Young Roosevelt, then a New York State Senator, was already a man full of confidence and high spirits. But his role at Baltimore was not an important one. He was, however, for Wilson.

Roosevelt called on Daniels with a group of New York editors seeking press tickets. It was their first meeting and it marked the beginning of a friendship that was unique in American politics and extended over a period of more than thirty years. The older man, who served in the administrations of Cleveland, Wilson, and Roosevelt, outlived the younger one by three years, but the younger man was four times elected President of the United States. Politicians have little time for friendships that are not useful to them, and few friendships in politics extend over three decades. The Roosevelt-Daniels friendship, however, genuine though it became, was useful to both men and, as time went on, it took on the aspects of a father-son relationship. Roosevelt and . . .

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