WITH THE INTENSIFICATION of the Battle of Britain, Roosevelt became even more reluctant to engage in political controversy. When answering the inevitable question about accepting Willkie's challenge for a debate, he recalled that, at Chicago, he had said that "things are in such shape this year that it is, of course, perfectly obvious that I cannot do any campaigning, as you all know." And, with a laugh, the President suggested that the answer be mimeographed by the press for future reference.
In Edith Willke's home town of Rushville, where Wendell Willkie was using the Lollis Hotel almost as he had the Broadmoor in Colorado, the Republican candidate renewed the challenge. The President's inspection trips, Willkie pointed out, could be delegated to specialists. That would enable the Chief Executive to fulfill his democratic function by discussing the major issues.
Ickes, in replying to the Elwood speech for the President, had, of