HARDING, Warren G. Typed letter signed (''Warren G. Harding'') as presidential nominee, to Dr. H. M. Dunlap, Marion, Ohio, 6 July 1920. 2 pages, 8vo, on United States Senate stationery.
HARDING, Warren G. Typed letter signed ("Warren G. Harding") as presidential nominee, to Dr. H. M. Dunlap, Marion, Ohio, 6 July 1920. 2 pages, 8vo, on United States Senate stationery.
HARDING MAPS OUT THE "FRONT PORCH" STRATEGY FOR HIS 1920 PRESIDENTIAL RUN
"It was nice to have your congratulations [for winning the GOP nomination]," Harding tells Dunlap, "and I can assure you that your expression of regrets is not wholly out of place. I find I have undertaken a very great task in assuming the burdens of a candidacy, and I do not imagine they will grow less if I am favored by the American people in the election next November. However, one can not be a coward, but must assume the tasks which come to him. I do not think it likely that I shall visit Michigan during the campaign. My inclination is to remain right here in Marion and indulge only in deliberate utterances to suit the various occasions which arise."
Such a passive plan for winning the White House seems inconceivable today, in an age when Presidential bids start several years before Election Day. But Harding's way worked, and in the circumstances it's hard to see why he would have chosen any other course. Woodrow Wilson was so unpopular, and his effort to put the United States into the League of Nations was so vehemently opposed by a majority of Americans, that the Republicans were almost guaranteed a victory, whomever they put up against Democratic nominee James Cox. And while Cox and his running mate, young Franklin D. Roosevelt, campaigned exhaustively across the country, logging some 22,000 miles on the rails, Harding stayed put in Marion, and won by a whopping 7 million popular votes and an equally lopsided 404 to 127 Electoral College count.