Country Squire in the White House

Country Squire in the White House

Country Squire in the White House

Country Squire in the White House

Excerpt

THE CITIZEN WHO SETS ABOUT forming a judgment on a president--something every American citizen is called upon to do--must brush away many illusions, good ones and bad.

A president is a party leader. His own party is forever busy displaying him in a favorable light. The opposition party is equally busy blotting out these friendly colors and putting in others of a more forbidding hue. Both hire publicity men; both have powerful journals on their side. One party woos the imagination of the voter with ceaseless stories of the leader's wisdom, benevolence, courage and vision. The other as continuously exploits fictitious tales of his folly, selfishness, weakness and shortsightedness. In the end the figure that emerges is apt to be very far from corresponding with the flesh-and-blood occupant of the White House.

It is probable that no such person ever lived as that strong, silent combination of homespun wisdom and superhuman cunning known as Calvin Coolidge. The figure in the public mind was created by advertising, publicity, twice-told tales. The image that most people had in their heads and that they named Calvin Coolidge was as completely a fiction as Lydia Pinkham, Father John, Dr Munyon or any of the other characters of advertising fiction. One can get a picture of the true Calvin Coolidge-- the man who really existed, not the imaginary one in the . . .

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