Monday, August 27, 2012
If It Ain't Brokered, Fix It!
The convention was held in New York City from June 24 to...seemingly forever. Two powerful candidates headed the field - Gov. Al Smith of New York and William G. McAdoo, former Secretary of Treasury. There were some parallels to Obama and Clinton in 2008, with Smith deemed unelectable by many because he was a Catholic and McAdoo having a close familial relationship to a former president, as son-in-law of Woodrow Wilson.
They each had strong, very separate constituencies. McAdoo had the backing of Protestants, farmers, the vast majority of delegates from the South, Midwest and West. Smith, of course, was favored by Catholics, ethnics, liberals, those in big cities, especially in the Northeast. McAdoo's people favored Prohibition and refused to condemn the Ku Klux Klan; Smith's fans were against both.
By the 100th ballot, Smith was in first place but Gov. John W. Davis, the obscure former congressman and "compromise" candidate, had now overtaken McAdoo in the number two slot. It was now July 9, more than two weeks into the affair - no wonder today's cable news gasbags are salivating - and Will Rogers was exclaiming that New York had invited the delegates tot visit the city but not move there permanently. On the 103rd ballot, the delegates threw up their hands and nominated Davis.
He would be trounced by the seemingly weak Republican - a successor to the unpopular, disgraced, Warren G. Harding -- "Silent Cal" Coolidge.
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @GregMitch