A Puritan in Babylon: The Story of Calvin Coolidge

By William Allen White | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXIII
And All the World Wonders

WHAT happened after Senator Capper arrived at Rapid City with one of the President's aids, the Senator can relate better than anyone. For first of all Senator Capper is a newspaperman, and most important of all as a newspaperman he is a reporter and a good one. He remembered for instance that the night before, sitting around the fire, when he had told the President that most of the Republican Congressmen and Senators felt that the President should take a second elective term, the President was interested but did not commit himself. Capper recalled also telling the President that while the Kansas farmers disagreed with him about his veto of the McNary-Haugen Bill, they would be for him in the election. Which obviously pleased him. But also Senator Capper noted in his story of the evening's visit that the remark did not draw any commitment from the President. But the President rarely committed himself unnecessarily upon anything.

When Senator Capper arrived at the executive offices in Rapid City, the President let him sit around for an hour, reading newspapers and amusing himself while the President ground through his mail.1 At eleven o'clock, he called for Everett Sanders, his private secretary, and said:

"Bring in those newspaper fellers about noon. I have an announcement I want to make."

He gave no hint of its nature. Sanders later told Capper that he hadn't the slightest idea of what the President was up to. No friend of the President has ever intimated that he had the remotest hint of what was in the

____________________
1
This part of the narrative has been written several times by Senator Capper and was related in a personal conversation a few months later and again checked up and set down shortly before the publication of this book.

-359-

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