Hoover v. Smith: Presidential Race of a Lifetime

November 14, 2016

313f6c4b-db41-4e85-9e16-d6571324c6f4
Herbert Hoover, whom President Coolidge referred to as “Wonderboy,” was the rip-roaring Commerce Secretary, a former mining engineer who spent many years in exotic places like China, Australia, and Russia finding ways to get things out of the ground (and becoming fabulously wealthy in the process). Running as the heir to the Coolidge Prosperity, he was a strong favorite to win the race from the beginning.

The Democratic candidate, Al Smith, was dubbed the “Happy Warrior” at the 1924 Democratic Convention by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Hailing from New York, Smith had a long political career in the Empire State, and went into the 1928 election as the state’s governor. The first Catholic to win the nomination of a major party for the presidency of the United States, Smith was the tribune of the ethnic Catholic immigrant population, particularly in the big industrialized cities of the North.

In the end, Hoover won a rollicking victory, 58 percent of the popular vote and 444 electoral votes. Hoover won in every region of the country, and even penetrated the Solid Democratic South, winning Texas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia.

A few years ago Foundation Chairman Amity Shlaes and National Advisory Board member George Nash participated in a tremendous PBS documentary about Hoover entitled “Landslide: A Portrait of President Herbert Hoover.” The documentary can be purchased on Amazon.

The United States faced one of its most trying hours during Herbert Hoover’s presidency, yet the nation endured. Our story was not over. It won’t be over after November 9, 2016, either. No matter the election result, we will continue united as one nation.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Coolidge Blog

Coolidge Foundation Mourns Trustee Thomas F. Cooley

It is with great sorrow that the Coolidge Foundation reports the passing of longtime Trustee, Thomas F. Cooley. Tom, whom our community knows well from his loyal presence at the […]

The Inauguration of Cavin Coolidge as Vice President of the United States, March 4, 1921: A Centennial Remembrance

By Jerry L. Wallace An excerpt from Mr. Wallace’s full article, accessible in the Coolidge Virtual Library: Essays, Papers & Addresses. This March 4th marked the 100th anniversary of Calvin […]

The Flu in Coolidge’s Time

In 1918, while Calvin Coolidge was Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, the outbreak of Spanish Influenza hit the United States and wreaked havoc across the nation. Massachusetts was hit hard. By […]

Mr. & Mrs. Coolidge Go to Florida

By Daniel Wright The Coolidges had been eager to travel since leaving public life in 1929. Invited numerous times to see sunny Florida, this was their first opportunity to visit […]