Monday, November 14, 2005

Harding a Farm Boy Who Rose by Work

Harding a Farm Boy Who Rose by Work. This is the 1923 obituary that the New York Times ran when President Harding died. Oddly, it notes that Mrs. Harding had premonitions of his impending death. I wonder if this is accurate.

From the site:

Nominated for the Presidency as a compromise candidate and elected by a tremendous majority because of a reaction against the policies of his predecessor, Warren Gamaliel Harding, twenty-ninth President of the United States, owed his political elevation largely to his engaging personal traits, his ability to work in harmony with the leaders of his party and the fact that he typified in himself the average prosperous American citizen.

Although he had been prominent in Ohio politics for a generation, Mr. Harding did not really become a national figure until 1920, the year of his nomination at Chicago. He had been mentioned as a possible compromise candidate in 1916. Mr. Harding, then United States Senator, was the Temporary Chairman of the 1916 convention, also held at Chicago, and his "keynote speech" on that occasion was expected by many to put him in a position where the nomination might go to him, if a deadlock should arise. The nomination went to Charles E. Hughes, whom he later picked for Secretary of State, and who was defeated at the polls by Woodrow Wilson.

Mr. Harding's opportunity was to come four years later, when General Leonard Wood and Frank O. Lowden, then Governor of Illinois, were the early leading candidates. When developments in a Senatorial committee's investigation of alleged improper use of campaign funds made the party leaders deem Governor Lowden's nomination inadvisable, most of the latter's strength was transferred to Mr. Harding. His friends in the Senate, who had opposed the League of Nations proposed by President Wilson, became active and Mr. Harding's nomination by the convention followed.

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