Saturday, 27 November 2010

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (1)

 Here is a political prognostication made just before an American election: 

“The people of this country are in a humour where they don’t want to hear any reason...they want change and I think they are going to get it, but if they get it, in less than a year they will be the sickest country that ever walked the face of the earth, or else I will miss my guess”.


When was this statement made?   

Was it just before the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of these United States?

Was it just before our recent American mid-terms (after which the Republicans gained a majority in the House of Representatives)?

Neither!  The statement was made by Colonel Henry Stimpson in the run up to the 1932 presidential election.

Stimpson had served as Secretary of War from May 1911 until March 1913 under President William Taft (R)

Later (March 1929 – March 1933) he was Secretary of State under President Herbert Hoover (R).

His prognostication was made in 1932.  It was about the Democratic Party candidate for the Presidency, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

After the election Stimpson met Roosevelt. He (Stimpson) found Roosevelt to be intelligent and competent. 

Stimpson (ever a Republican) went on to serve in the Roosevelt (and Truman) Cabinets from 1940 -1945.  He was back at his old job as Secretary of War!

( I have gleaned all this information from David Halberstam’s  book “The Best and the Brightest” – Random House, 1969)



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