A Bitter Campaign
The campaign began in earnest during the first days of August. Trying to relax at the cabin he had built on the Rapidan River in Virginia, Hoover could not get his mind off of Roosevelt. As Ted Joslin relates in the first document in this chapter, Hoover was angered by Roosevelt's casual use of the truth. Hoover was determined to respond to every misstatement and he marshaled his troops for the attack!
The campaign itself was a brutal slugfest of attack and counterattack. For the most part, the two candidates crisscrossed the country delivering speeches, many of which were broadcast on radio. With his rich baritone voice, Roosevelt sounded confident that he could solve the country's problems. Hoover, on the other hand, spoke in a flat, nervous, monotone, which gave his listeners the impression that he was under siege. Radio played a big part in the election of 1932.
Perhaps the most ironical attack on Herbert Hoover came in Roosevelt's speech in Sioux City, Iowa, on September 29. It was in that speech that Roosevelt attacked Hoover for driving up the federal deficit! Roosevelt would later discover that controlling the federal budget was not as easy as it seemed from his vantage point in Albany, New York.
In later speeches Roosevelt effectively attacked Hoover as the man responsible for the depression and the man who refused to respond to this economic collapse. Neither charge was true, but the public wanted someone to blame for