Futile Dreamer, II: A Presidential Nomination
SEVERAL months before the 1932 Democratic convention, Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt was handed an undated, unsigned note in private by Louis Howe, his longtime adviser. An air of mystery surrounded its origin, but its message was clear: Look out for Judge Seabury--your investigator is after the nomination for himself.
The brief note said: " Walter Chambers, the man who wrote the book on Seabury, on a leave of absence from the World-Telegram, has been in Washington and talked to some newspaper people, whose names I cannot mention, because they are my sources of information. He approached some people on Capitol Hill, especially Wheeler of Montana, to get his viewpoint on Seabury as a presidential candidate."
This alerted the Roosevelt forces and caused the Governor and his staff to regard the investigation as more than an attempt to expose Tammany corruption. Rightly or wrongly, they felt that Seabury was out to capture the nomination. Every day Seabury's name made the headlines in the New York and national press; to the professionals weighing the political implications, the fact that Seabury was really uncovering graft and official misconduct was secondary. These professionals in the Roosevelt camp, who had been rounding up delegates all over the country for more than a year, knew that Seabury had no organization and therefore stood hardly a chance of obtaining