We’re really missing all the pre-election ballyhoo over here and it’s already the 6th – with tomorrow the big day. I hope it will be Roosevelt because the German propaganda on the radio has been terrific, and if he should perchance lose no one would be happier than the Nazis who would certainly push the fact down our throats. It’s for that reason more than any other that I hope Roosevelt is re-elected. I think the conduct of the war would be little affected if Dewey became President, although Roosevelt is undoubtedly the stronger man for post-war days.
Yesterday, darling, was another quiet day and I remained close to battalion all day. I had a couple more private patients and a few of our own boys showed up for sick-call. My newly delivered mother is doing fine – as is the baby, by the way. In the p.m. Headquarters made another attempt to show “The Primitive Man” – and the projector was O.K. I got more of a kick out of the picture than I expected – it was just slap-stick enough to cause us to chuckle and it helped pass a couple of otherwise boring hours. The evening was especially dull – and I got into bed at nine; I was kind of tired from being up the night before on that delivery. I listened to the news and then heard a re-broadcast of a Charlie McCarthy program – and before I knew it – I was off to sleep – undisturbed except for one short interval.
This morning I was up early and almost went to Liege with a patient – but I sent my driver in alone. I thought I might look around and buy something but changed my mind when I heard what one of our officers had to say. He had just come back from a 5 day trip in which he went after our monthly liquor ration. He spent two days in Paris and raved about the city, its life, etc. I’ve heard that from several sources now and it must be true. All agree that London and New York have to take second place to Paris. But they have gone haywire on prices; cognac is 80 francs ($1.60) for less than an ounce, beer is 40 francs a glass, and goods in the stores are practically beyond reach. What makes everyone sore is that all prices in legitimate markets have been established or O.K.’ed by the Civil Government – under American control. They’re really racketeering – are the Frenchmen and I guess the way they figure it – it’s a long time between wars. Anyway – I sent all my last month’s pay home to be deposited – although I could cash a check if I had a chance to take off for a day or two.
Say – dear – I know I can’t stop you from worrying – but I don’t want you to worry about me too much. There was a time you wrote me that you didn’t worry, you had faith – and all would be all right. Well you better go back to that way of thinking sweetheart, because it’s healthier in the long run. I’m all right and taking good care of myself, and what is more – I plan to continue to do the same. I have faith, too, and what is also very very important, dear, I have a goal in life, I have something worthwhile to come home to – and I want to come home to that very very much; that makes all the difference in the world, darling, so just sit back and relax a bit – because all will be well some day and we’ll both have what we want more than anything else in the world – each other.
All for now, dear; my love to the folks and
1944 Run for the Presidency
In 1944, in the midst of war, Roosevelt made it known to fellow Democrats that he was willing to run for a fourth term. Democrats, even conservative southerners who had long been suspicious of FDR's liberalism, backed Roosevelt as their party's best chance for victory. FDR received all but 87 of the votes of the 1,075 delegates at the Democratic National Convention. The real intrigue came with the Democratic nomination for vice president. FDR decided against running with his current vice president, the extremely liberal Henry Wallace, fearing that Wallace's politics would open a rift in the party between liberals (concentrated in the northeast) and conservatives (largely hailing from the south.) Instead, Senator Harry Truman of Missouri, who had the backing of the south, the big-city bosses in the party, and at least the tacit approval of FDR, took the vice-presidential nomination.
Republicans nominated Thomas Dewey, the popular governor of New York State, chosen with only one Republican delegate voting against him. Dewey ran as a moderate Republican, promising not to undo the social and economic reforms of the New Deal, but instead to make them more efficient and effective. Dewey, like Willkie four years earlier, was an internationalist in foreign affairs, voicing support for a postwar United Nations. One of Dewey's most effective gambits was to raise discreetly the age issue. He assailed the President as a "tired old man" with "tired old men" in his cabinet, pointedly suggesting that the President's lack of vigor had produced a less than vigorous economic recovery.
FDR, as most observers could see from his weight loss and haggard appearance, was a tired man in 1944. But upon entering the campaign in earnest in late September, 1944, Roosevelt displayed enough passion and fight to allay most concerns and to deflect Republican attacks. With the war still raging, he urged voters not to "change horses in mid-stream." Just as important, he showed some of his famous campaign fire. In a classic speech before the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, FDR belittled the Republican attacks on him. In recalling the charges from a Minnesota congressman who accused FDR of sending a battleship to Alaska to retrieve his dog Fala, FDR had this to say: