Behind the Ballots: The Personal History of a Politician

By James A. Farley | Go to book overview

VII. Looking Forward

PARTY SPLITS. PROSPECTS FOR 1940. A RUBBER STAMP CON-
GRESS? RELIEF AND POLITICS. A DAY'S WORK. PERSONAL.
THE GOVERNORSHIP. RETROSPECT. A LITTLE ADVICE.

THE American people almost kill their President with kindness for the first few months after he takes office. The animosities of the campaign are quickly forgotten and the Chief Executive becomes not only the central figure of everyone's curiosity but a sort of national hero as well.

The press treats him well, the public hugs him to its bosom, the opposition maintains a respectful silence, the radio and magazine commentators dwell on his charming personality, Congress is frigidly polite, and life flows along with blissful ease. This delightful interlude from partisan politics is known as the "honeymoon period." For some Presidents, it lasts longer than it does for others. It lasted unusually long for President Roosevelt because his dynamic and sure-handed settlement of the banking crisis caught the imagination of the entire country.

The political atmosphere is different in 1938--as this is being written--than it was in 1933. A period of sharp reform has intervened and a change of such magnitude never takes place in the life of a nation without stirring pretty deeply the channels of public feeling and emotion. The honeymoon has been over long since. The feeling is a bit more warlike and the Roosevelt followers and the Roosevelt haters bristle and glower at each other from opposing breastworks. A sharp division of opinion exists over the wisdom of the presidential policies and even I must admit, what everyone knows, that this difference extends even into the ranks of the Democratic Party. In fact, after several years of discouragement, the opposition is hoping that the party is about to ask a bill of divorce from the President or vice versa.

The place for the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in such a situation is in the middle. His job is not to take

-356-

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Behind the Ballots: The Personal History of a Politician
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • I. My Early Life 3
  • Ii. the Pre-Election Campaign of 1932 58
  • Iii. the Birth of the New Deal 155
  • Iv. the Post Office Department 253
  • V. the 1936 Election 289
  • Vi. F.D.R. 328
  • Vii. Looking Forward 356
  • Index 377
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