THOMAS EDMUND DEWEY "Political Resiliency"
BY S. BURTON HEATH
BY ALL THE RULES OF POLITICAL LOGIC, THOMAS EDMUND Dewey was a gone goose at three o'clock the morning of November 8, 1944, when he strode into the Hotel Roosevelt ballroom in New York and conceded his defeat for the presidency.
At that time the full extent of his disaster was not yet apparent. A number of key states, including New York, still remained technically in doubt. It was not until considerably later that Governor Dewey's native state of Michigan swung over to the Roosevelt column, as the count was completed, and left the young man from Owosso with a bare ninety-nine electoral votes out of 531.
When all the returns were in, it developed that Governor Dewey had lost thirty-six of the forty-eight states, including all of the most important electoral blocs except Ohio's. He couldn't carry either the state of which he was governor or even the normally Republican state in which he was born, reared, and educated. He had failed to please entirely the internationally-minded elements of his party and had seriously offended its isolationists.
By virtue of his candidacy, Mr. Dewey had become titular leader of the GOP. But so, for that matter, was Alf Landon when he sank into political nonentity after 1936. So was Wendell Willkie, who found after 1940 that his title meant little in a showdown. Moreover, Mr. Dewey faced a party tradition that never in its history had the GOP taken a second chance