What Roosevelt Thought: The Social and Political Ideas of Franklin D. Roosevelt

By Thomas H. Greer | Go to book overview

5
The People's Choice: The Presidency

No MAN BUT ROOSEVELT has been elected president more than twice; no other has served longer than two terms. Under the Twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution, none will have the chance to equal his tenure as president.

Although he knew much of the judicial and legislative branches of government, Roosevelt was pre-eminently a specialist in the executive process. Counting his service as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he spent twenty-four years in the executive branch-including sixteen as Chief Executive (of state or nation). His long hold on the presidency and the drama of history enabled him to know that office from alpha to omega. It has been said, rightly, that "a President is many men," and Roosevelt played every role.


Conception of the Office

When he was inaugurated in 1933, he had a well-developed conception of the presidency. As a child he had once sat on Grover Cleveland's knee. His first vote for president was for his dynamic relative, "Uncle Ted." As Assistant Secretary, he served with enthusiasm under Wilson. He deeply admired these three, and they formed in his mind a highly personal, composite model of what a president should be.

Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, and Wilson were Chief Executives

-88-

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What Roosevelt Thought: The Social and Political Ideas of Franklin D. Roosevelt
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Preface - Roosevelt: A Practical Philosopher ix
  • Contents xiii
  • 1 - Vision of the Abundant Life 3
  • 2 - Unto Unto Caesar What is Caesar's 26
  • 3 - Government and the Economy 45
  • 4 - A More Perfect Union: The American Constitutional System 75
  • 5 - The People's Choice: The Presidency 88
  • 6 - The Great Game of Politics 114
  • 7 - Truth and Citizenship 142
  • 8 - The Good Neighbor 158
  • 9 - Strategy for Survival 183
  • 10 - Roosevelt: Radical or Conservative? 206
  • Notes and Bibliography 215
  • Notes 217
  • Bibliographical Note 229
  • Index 235
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