The Fourth Term
On july 4, 1944, Hopkins left the hospital in White Sulphur Springs and flew back to Washington to continue his convalescence in his Georgetown home. During the next three weeks he went to the White House very occasionally to see the President, but he was incapable of doing much work or catching up with the bewildering series of victories that were being achieved all the way from Guam and Saipan in the Marianas Group, within B-29 range of Japan itself, to the Vitebsk- Mogilev line, which represented the last ditch for the Germans on Russian soil. (This huge area of victory, be it said, did not include Burma and China; indeed, the military situation in China was about to become much worse than at any time since the Marco Polo Bridge "incident" in 1937.)
On June 28, the Republicans had nominated Thomas E. Dewey as their candidate for President. On July 11, Roosevelt announced that he would run for a fourth term if nominated by the Democratic National Convention, which was to be held in Chicago during the week of July 19. While the convention was in progress, Roosevelt traveled to San Diego and there embarked for Pearl Harbor to meet with Admiral Nimitz and General MacArthur for the determining of future strategy in the war in the Pacific. The main decision to be made there, as I understand it, was between the Navy plan to devote the ground forces to landings on Formosa, and the MacArthur plan to liberate the Philippines; Roosevelt ultimately decided in favor of the latter, and there were some cynics (especially in the Navy) who remarked in undertones that perhaps the President's choice had been influenced by the thought that the Philippines would provide a more popular victory in an election year.