The 1948 Campaign:
A New Party—Not a Third Party
In Albany at the beginning of September, 1946, in a smoke-filled room, the county leaders of the Democratic party had gathered for their preconvention caucus when there was a sudden hush as Mrs. Roosevelt entered. She tried to put everyone at ease but it was a little as if Saint Theresa had walked into a meeting of the Mafia and had said, "Carry on, Signori." Everyone was on his best behavior.
The state chairman, Paul Fitzpatrick of Buffalo, began his canvass of the leaders' views on a slate for the election to run against the incumbent Republicans headed by Gov. Thomas E. Dewey. Mrs. Roosevelt said little. She would have her say the next day as temporary chairman of the convention, in which capacity she was to deliver the keynote address. But when the county leader of Westchester observed that the Democrats did not need to worry about having a veteran on the ticket because the Republicans did not have one on theirs, she bristled. "We want a veteran on the ticket," she protested, "because of what the country owes the veteran." Moreover, "we want these younger men and women to come into the leadership of the Party." A little later when the leader of Rochester minimized the importance to the Democrats of the rural vote and said it would be the cities that carried the ticket, she again gestured to Fitzpatrick that she wished to speak. It was a weakness of the Democrats, she said, and of the party's program, that agricultural interests in the state were not better represented. 1
The convention nominated a ticket headed by Sen. James M. Mead—a move that had evidently been discussed with FDR: