Calvin Coolidge, the Man Who Is President

By William Allen White | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXI
THE CHISELING WHITE LIGHT

Only as part of the data for prophecy are we warranted in scrutinizing a President's face. No man can remain the same man that he was after a year in the White House. The white light that beats upon the throne chisels a man's face. If there is vanity there, the chisel finds it and shows it; if there is wickedness in it, complacency, it is all chiseled in. And no man can shield himself from the edge of that chisel. Few men in two and a half years have changed as little as Calvin Coolidge. Yet there has been change. His pictures taken as Vice-President and those taken in the autumn of 1925, show that two years have strengthened his face, but the lines of strength displayed are not lines of radical change. Evidently the man's heart is the same, his convictions are unmoved. The technique with which he attacks problems is best summed up in these lines of his that represent ideals, perhaps, rather than achievement:

"Do the day's work. If it be to protect the rights of the weak, whoever objects, do it. If it be to help a powerful corporation better to serve the people, whatever the opposition, do that. Expect to be called a standpatter, but don't

-230-

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