Calvin Coolidge, the Man Who Is President

By William Allen White | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
BEHOLD THE VOTE-GETTER!

Calvin Coolidge became President of the United States largely because he had a college degree. That degree represented a certain training of his mind, a certain habit of attention toward the printed page, a certain familiarity with the wisdom of humanity stored in books. But he might have obtained this training, this capacity for attention and even the wisdom of the ages without a college degree. The college degree helped him because it made him an alumnus of Amherst, and in 1914 the Amherst alumni took hold of Coolidge's destiny.

That year Judge Henry Field, of Northampton, and Frank W. Stearns with half a dozen of the alumni were sitting around a table in Boston, grumbling because "the Harvard crowd" in Massachusetts, by standing together and boosting Harvard men, was getting too far in state politics and business affairs. From the grumbling rose this resolve: pick up some Amherst man and try boosting him. It is probable that Judge Field, of Northampton, under whom Coolidge had studied law, in response to the question "name your man," sug-

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