No person ever entered the presidency with more justification for the usual early optimism than Herbert Hoover. He had made few commitments, had accumulated an unblemished public record, and had risen from Belgian relief administrator to president in just 14 years. He could look forward to Republican majorities in the House (100) and Senate (17). Americans were contented and as optimistic about the future as probably they had been at any time in the nation's history. Hoover finally had the power and authority to change Americans' lives for the better, and he fully intended to attack the job with all the enthusiasm and knowhow he had at his vast disposal.
But first he had to confront prying reporters. Three days after the election, Elihu Root, a former New York senator and the Secretary of State under Theodore Roosevelt, wrote to Hoover to congratulate him and to advise him to stay away from Washington until after the inauguration. Hoover wrote to Root:
I agree with you that I should keep entirely out of Washington and also that I should keep in the background as much as possible. It was partially with this in mind that I have undertaken the South American journey, and I am proposing to stay in Florida or somewhere away from Washington until March 4th. 1